New face, fresh ideas for Eden Whale Festival

WHALES AHOY: Michael Sawers has been elected president of the Eden Whale Festival, with plans to make it even more popular. Picture: Liz Tickner
WHALES AHOY: Michael Sawers has been elected president of the Eden Whale Festival, with plans to make it even more popular. Picture: Liz Tickner

Michael Sawers has taken over the top job of organising the town’s premier annual tourist attraction, the Eden Whale Festival.

Mr Sawers was elected president at the festival’s annual general meeting last week, after Deb Richardson stood down from the position.

Having previously lived in Towamba and Pambula, and now a part of the Eden community working as a carpenter and with a strong background with the soccer club, Mr Sawers is well qualified for the task.

And he has a “two-year plan” which, if successful, would see the festival return to a full two-day event.

“I had some ideas and realised I had to step up and give the president’s job a go or else back away and be quiet,” Mr Sawers said.

Mr Sawers’ ideas – which he stressed were his own at this stage and would need the endorsement of the committee – include a fun run in conjunction with a local gym, surf ski events in Twofold Bay and also woodchopping.

His aim is for the festival – which has been running for more than 20 year – to attract a wider audience, and thus more visitors to Eden.   

Meanwhile, Mr Sawers is keen to recruit a vice president, a position that was still vacant after last week’s AGM, and invited people to contact him on 0466 257 082 or at mjsawers@icloud.com if they were interested.

With funding always a challenge, anyone with experience in running fundraising events or writing grant applications would be especially welcome to apply.  

Nancy Weatherman was elected secretary, Cassie Schofield is treasurer and Peter Mann is public officer.

Ms Richardson will become a committee members alongside Nicole Brown and Tracey Campbell.

Planning for the 2017 festival is already underway with the Eden Social Services Club Inc (Essci) having committed to running the popular street parade; a golf day is also on the program as are the photographic, woodworking and recycling competitions.

Rex Airline has also donated two return tickets to either Sydney or Melbourne as a raffle prize.