I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who came and participated in the Club’s 10th outing at the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival.
The combination of the cold south-westerly bluster and the extremely dry conditions threw up fragments of grass akin to small blizzards at times, and it felt like it was a touch colder than the past few years have been. However, both Club members and Toowoombans came out in force to support the City’s annual celebration of our diverse multicultural community.
It was great to see folk who had been absent for some time from the Club pop past and say hello, and to have people drive great distances to participate in Club activities and engage with the crowd. Tamara came all the way down from Gin Gin, Randy was an absolute work horse while introducing the crowds to the fundamentals of Kendo, and Rob D cut a striking figure as always (and attracted many who wanted photos with him) in his full yoroi.
I very much enjoyed catching up with Michael S, who was doing a roaring trade introducing the crowd to the art of fencing, and likewise with Eric fresh back from his week at the International Jodo gasshuku. It was very satisfying to see the Takatsuki-donated taiko drums be used by Tomoko, Sian, Michelle, Jun and Arielle. Brady, Jack and Oliver cut great figures demonstrating Jujutsu. Kendo was well presented by Sean, Kateena, Hernan and I — including a great deal of fun in some balloon geiko. The Iaido crew of Sian, Tracy, Tamara and I cut a solid performance in testing conditions, including some tamashigiri work, where we were aided by Sean and Rob D.
And of course, a day like this cannot work without the efforts both big and small of all the members who came to spend the day sharing what we love with the wider community. For me it was very gratifying to see everyone step up and actively working together to fill in all the gaps throughout the day. It was the first time that I actually had an opportunity to sit back a little and not have to be on my feet talking and directing for the whole day. A special thanks from me goes to Kateena and Tracy, who actually insisted on (and organised) food for me at more appropriate times through the day (rather than scoffing “breakfast” around 3 pm).
So with another year done and dusted, we shall look forward to doing it all again in 12 months time. We will probably have to spend a bit of effort getting the grass fragments out of both Club and personal equipment, but I am pretty happy to say that it has certainly been worth it!