Last year the Relay for Life was cut short due to extreme heat
but the forecast for this weekend was somewhat different
The past couple of days had been a bit on the hot side but a change was forecast. The atmosphere by 6pm was sticky and humid
Nadie [ seem here with some of the other members of our team ] and I, began walking laps around Camp Reserve.
At first there were only a dozen or so walking but the number soon swelled to somewhere between one and two hundred [ I'm guessing here ... not good at estimating crowds ]
Inside the Clubrooms, this hardy soul [ Greg ??] honoured his fundraising promise and endured having his head shaved ... brave man!
The lap walking continued, pausing at 8pm for the lighting of hundreds of memorial candles - tiny tealights set inside paper bag lanterns inscribed with the names of both the survivors and those taken too soon.
We then did a special lap of the oval led by the Castlemaine Pipe Band, to the tune of 'Scotland the Brave'
before assembling in front of the portable stage for a very moving opening ceremony which culminated with a minute's silence
and another lap 'round the oval behind the pipes and drums.
Nadie and I left about 9pm, a bit tired, very mozzie-bitten and quite happy with our part in the proceedings . We WERE intending to return with the boys this morning for another couple of hours before the official closing.
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas, and those hardy souls who were camping [ and walking ] overnight, were forced to abandon the effort when the heavens opened.
The deluge has pretty much continued unabated all day
and while we are always happy to see evidence that 15 years of drought may well be over ...
the timing was a wee bit of a nuisance.
Last night there was much laughter, more than a few tears
and we'll do it all again next year