Bendigo Festival 2015

The historic town of Bendigo in Central Victoria was the site for the 2015 Australian national IFCR festival. It was greatly enhanced by having a wide representation from overseas – a full team from IFCR Kerala in India led by Reji Chacko, three individual Indian IFCR members, world president Ravi from Chennai, Sarathy from Hyderabad and Pradeep from Mumbai, PDG Ishtiaque and Rtn Salahuddin from Bangladesh, Rotarians Brendan and John from Warkworth in New Zealand and past GB&I chairman Norman Brown from England.

In all some 55 members took part. Cricket games were played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as usual. The first two days saw teams representing Kochi, Queensland, Victoria and a Combined Western Australia and South Australia. Thursday saw the Quarter Final of the World Cup which was attended by the Kochi team and a few others so the fourth team on that day was drawn from local Bendigo cricketers. Friday’s games were played between mixed teams.

The opening night’s gathering was attended by the mayor of Bendigo, Peter Cox, and featured Marney McQueen, cabaret and TV performer and daughter of past Australian IFCR president, Don McQueen.

A Tuesday morning walking tour was attended by a number of partners of players. Wednesday cultural outings took parties to Echuca by bus for a 2 hour boat ride and lunch on the paddle steamer ‘Canberra’ while others went on an excursion to the Great Stupa which is the largest Buddhist temple in Australia. Rotary club of Kangaroo Flat hosted a delightful barbecue at their clubhouse on Thursday evening.

The closing function on the Friday had the DG of D9800, Murray Verso, in attendance and featured a most interesting address by Malcolm Speed former CEO of Cricket Australia and CEO of the International Cricket Council. During the evening recognitions were presented to Ian Robertson and Richard Groom for their participation in 100 IFCR games.

As always with these festivals fellowship was the winner allowing attendees to renew acquaintances with fellow members and meet new members from home and abroad.