Tunzafun Mulwala volunteers were formally recognised on Mulwala’s celebration of Australia Day 2018, receiving an achievement award for service to the community in front of about 80 people.
“These people truly deserve recognition for their efforts,” Mulwala Progress Association, Robert Purtle OAM, who was Master of Ceremonies, said last Friday.
“Tunzafun has been operating for over 10 years and provided so much for our tourism industry and so much to the local community. It’s amazing this amusement park is run entirely by volunteers.”
For all of that decade and beyond, Tunzafun’s volunteer co-ordinator Graham Bott has “lived and breathed Tunzafun” according to volunteer George Jenkins.
“We sincerely thank him. But for all this to continue, we need more volunteers. We open all weekends and school holidays. With new rides we will need for operational volunteers.
“We also need gardeners and maintenance people...and most importantly, we need a person to become supervisor/volunteer co-ordinator to replace Graham Bott who has put in 110 per cent over 10-plus years and wants to step down.”
Mr Jenkins spoke about the history of Tunzafun, when 10 years ago, Yarrawonga resident Paul Belot offered the park and equipment to the community. Doug Evans and Possum Purtle took on the project.
“The park had been closed for some two years and was in very poor condition,” Mr Jenkins said. “Community volunteers cleaned up the mini golf course and overhauled the machinery (dodgem cars, krazy cars and chair-o-plane. The trampoline mats were cleaned up.”
Subsequent projects included remaking the mini golf course themed on the town: bridge, lake, boating, camping and wine; the old office/kiosk being replaced, provision of toilets, electric barbecues and picnic/seating area, and shade sails.
“All this has been paid by using the proceeds from patrons using the park,” Mr Jenkins said.
The crowd at Mulwala RSL Park appreciated the meat cooked by Rod Sissons, Rod Beard and Ray Hines, and the many cool drinks also provided by these Mulwala Football Netball Club members.
Their contribution was acknowledged by the MC who also conveyed thanks to Mulwala Water Ski Club’s Greg Hough for the sound system, to Yarrawonga/Mulwala RSL Sub Branch’s Kerry Prendergast for the raising of the Australian Flag, and to John Duncan.
The 83-year-old John, of course, in ‘Possum’s’ opinion and undoubtedly all those present, delivered his 21st consecutive national anthem “in a very strong voice”.
Possum also advised his congratulations to Mulwala resident Andrew Spilva for his award of the OAM (see separate story).
In conclusion, some words from the Graham Bott. “Of course you feel proud receiving recognition like today but as I keep telling everyone it’s not just me - it’s a big, team effort at Tunzafun,” Graham, who turns 70-years-of-age in September, told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“My golf game is suffering and I want to play more golf. So please, can someone take over from me?”