Local businesses generated thousands of dollars to help make the 21-day Blue Wave Bicentenary re-enactment of the crossing of the Blue Mountains as spectacular as possible in May by attending a charity auction dinner in Penrith on Friday.
More than 240 people filled the Ron Mullock room at Panthers to enjoy a three-course meal, music by the Holroyd City Brass Band and to take part in a live auction by Steve Archer amid a sea of sponsored blue balloons.
A large group of direct descendents of explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were joined on stage to great applause accompanied by Blue Wave project head, John O’Sullivan.
Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles said “Mr O’Sullivan, this (crossings re-enactment) is your idea and you have inspired so many people to come on board”.
“We have a responsibility to celebrate as best we can this historic occasion.”
The Blue Mountains Blue Wave team, featuring John O’Sullivan, Uncle Graeme Cooper, Trevor Lloyd, Richard Brymora, Kath Sargant, Colin Kenney, Kay Rosano and explorers’ descendents plans to retrace the steps of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth as close as possible, accompanied by four horses and five dogs.
It is part of a series of Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary events planned between this year and 2015 including a spectacular flyover by more than 200 vintage aircraft on May 25, parades, fireworks displays, the presentation of ‘Holey Dollar” mementos to every Blue Mountains school student and the installation of three busts of the explorers by sculptor Terrance Plowright.
Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said the crossings bicentenary events of local, state and national significance were being made possible by the generosity of individuals like John O’Sullivan, Tom Colless, Phil Hammon and countless business and community groups, including Businesses Supporting Bicentenary.
“We, like all of you here tonight, are delighted to be able to support this inspirational Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary and the Blue Wave team’s re-enactment will be the epicentre — the vision people will remember,” Mr Walker said.
“In the absence of any significant (direct) funding contribution from the State and Federal Governments so far, it’s been left to the local population and the business community to fundraise.”
For more information about the crossings bicentenary program of events or opportunities to donate and sponsor events, visit www.bluemountainscrossings.com.au, phone 4757-1425 or email email@example.com.
For more information about Blue Mountains Blue Wave, visit www.bmbw.org.au.