Spirit of Christmas alive in Pirie

Organiser Claire Conaghty with Pat Cummings at the Community Christmas Tea on Christmas night.
Organiser Claire Conaghty with Pat Cummings at the Community Christmas Tea on Christmas night.

The spirit of the season filled Port Pirie on Christmas night as dozens of people attended a barbecue for the less fortunate and lonely at Memorial Park.

The whole town got into the spirit with more volunteers than cooking positions, so they joined the crowd and socialised with the guests under the BH Shelter.

“It was great for everyone to embrace the Christmas spirit in friendship,” said Claire Conaghty, organiser of the event.

“It wasn’t just for the less fortunate. It was for the lonely, too.”

More than $455 in cash donations was contributed by the public and food, drinks and vouchers were supplied by businesses.

Coles, Woolworths, Baker’s Delight, McDonald’s, the Baptist Table Tennis Club, Alex’s Meat, Nyrstar, Kauschke’s Discount Paint, Sanctuary Corner, Pirie Signs and Design and SAFAVI supplied everything from lollies to meat to vouchers.

One woman even came from Crystal Brook with two trays of lollies for the people and a man went around giving out pieces of jewellery he had made.

“Hopefully, this is just the start. We’re ready for bigger and better things next year,” Claire said.

“On behalf of the group that helped put this together, this gathering would not have happened without the generosity and support from the local community and region. And I also want to thank the Port Pirie Regional Council and The Recorder for their support.”

Each guest received a gift bag with vouchers, lollies and Christmas cake, but the night was more about the company, giving people someone to talk to on Christmas night.

“I think it was fun to have an event where all the lonely, single and homeless people were able to come to enjoy some Christmas cheer,” said Recorder photographer Phil Hensel who helped at the event.

“It was great to see a lot of volunteers lining up to help.”