It has been an interesting few months since I finished up as school chaplain at Rainbow Beach School last year due to the Covid vaccination mandate.
2021 was especially meaningful for me, as I had the opportunity to come back to Rainbow Beach after an absence of three years and reconnect with students and families whilst making connections with new families.
However, as the old saying goes ‘when one door closes, another one opens’ and this has been the case with the opportunity to open a Community Pantry and coordinate the Rainbow Beach Learning Community, enabling me to continue to connect with local families.
Since opening the pantry, we have had more than sixty visits from over thirty families and single people who are doing it tough and genuinely need practical help. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the Gympie Anglican Church Board decided to enforce the church-wide rule that anyone working or volunteering for the Anglican Church must be vaccinated, so I have been unable to continue operating the Community Pantry at its present location.
However, on the positive side, the pantry has recently been approved as a member of Foodbank Queensland which currently works with over 300 charities across the state, including large service providers like the Salvation Army and small community groups such as ours, providing fresh produce and pantry items at a reduced cost.
I would love to be able to provide locals with access to this service and have been in touch with Geoff from McClintock Transport who is willing to transport food items from Rocklea to Gympie each Monday afternoon. I will pick the food up and bring it down to Rainbow on Tuesday mornings starting on 9 May, due to the next few Mondays being public holidays.
Hampers will be available between 10am and 12 noon with the pickup location still to be confirmed, which will be advertised on Words Out Rainbow Beach in the near future. There will be a small cost of $10 per hamper to cover transport and the handling costs charged by Foodbank.
If you would like to receive a hamper, please contact Ronnie on 0413 135 867.
The Rainbow Beach Learning Community has continued to flourish with a group of 22 young people ranging from Prep to Grade 8 meeting at the Rainbow Beach Community Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Term 2 will see the start of sewing machine lessons, dance and movement sessions, and possibly a robotics program. If you have a skill or topic of interest that you would like to pass on to these amazing young people, please contact Ronnie to discuss how you can be involved.
The Sandcastle Competition held on Wednesday 13 April provided an opportunity to bring the community together and involve families visiting the town during the holidays, with 22 teams having a wonderful time creating incredible sand sculptures on the beach north of the SLS tower.
As was the case last year, the beach was full of happy families and friends who spent two hours working hard on their designs, ranging from a traditional sandcastle complete with stairs and turrets, to a mother turtle and her babies scurrying towards the ocean and everything in between.
Arron from Sandshapers of Noosa spent the morning creating an incredible sleeping dragon who watched over the proceedings from his nest in the dunes.
Locals and visitors taking a morning stroll along the beach were each given a token to vote for their favourite sand creation in the People’s Choice category that was won by Team Janicky. Arron had the difficult task of judging the winners of the three categories: best sea creature (winning team Fishbones), best sandcastle (winning team Seagulls) and a miscellaneous category (winning team Sandsation).
Great prizes for the winners of each category were donated by local businesses and included vouchers from the Frying Fish Cafe, Rainbow Beach Pizza, Soul Food, Rainbow Beach Learn to Surf and Creme de la Creme with toys, fishing rods and caps donated by Gympie Sportspower, the Rainbow Beach Post Office and Rainbow Beach Hardware, and Easter eggs from Rainbow Beach IGA.
I would also like to thank Sam and Maureen from the Rainbow Beach Tourist Information Centre who donated a ball to every child who participated in the competition and Traveston McDonald’s who donated vouchers for the winning teams.
Special thanks go to Cooloola Coast Realty, Rainbow Beach Realty, and the Rainbow Beach Community News for their assistance with finance allowing Arron from Sandshapers to be present on the day and providing supplies for the sausage sizzle.
Jed Elmer, Bec Hunt, Kerry Sleath, Sarah Booth, Sandra Lindenberg, Nate Hunt, and Marcus Anderson looked after registration and the sausage sizzle, with a few others providing assistance on the day.
Profits made from the Sandcastle Competition and a cake stall run at the recent Rainbow Beach Market will go towards providing activities for local homeschooling families involved in the Learning Community.
by Ronnie Timperon