MELSA PARK TRAIN RIDES

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The morning of June 20 brought sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. It also brought a vast number of community members and a large number of volunteers all eager to celebrate the re-opening of MELSA Bribie Inc.

Many local businesses brought tables, chairs, gazebos and barbeques accompanied by sausages, meat patties and onions, all to be washed down with cold drinks and freshly brewed coffee.

The Pumicestone Indigenous Education & Employment Council surprised and delighted the crowd with a traditional Welcome to Country. Their efforts were appreciated by all. Children, with faces painted, proudly showed off their artistic creations, made decisions on which colour locomotive they would ride on next and showing delight each time a steam whistle announced the arrival of another locomotive.

An elderly gentleman, with a smile from one ear to the other, said “It’s wonderful to see steam trains again, to hear the noise, to see the steam, I didn’t think I’d ever see a steam train again”.

Six steam locomotives provided a nostalgic reminder of travel from days past while the four electric locomotives brought us back to modern days. Of course, the fun and excitement didn’t just happen, it was carefully planned and delivered by many local businesses and community members who gave freely of their time. Many hours of painting, cleaning and grounds work went into converting the Park from an area that was last used in March 2020 into a delightful venue for the re-opening event. There were also bread rolls, salads and a celebratory cake donated by community-minded businesses, all of which made for a gala event.

MELSA Bribie Inc. is grateful to all the local businesses who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to renovate the toilet block, remove fallen trees and debris, painting picnic tables and renovating the Station. These people didn’t seek public accolades, they just wanted to help.

It was the team from The Bribie Islander & Districts Magazine who energised the community. They were the engine room that developed, harnessed and directed community energy to achieve so much in so little time.

It was quite remarkable to witness the power of our community, when being offered an opportunity to help, they took the bit between their teeth and turned a dream into reality. The members of MELSA Bribie Inc. have been overwhelmed by the support of local businesses, individuals and the wider community. We look forward to one day soon reciprocating the generosity shown by the wider community.