Words and photos by Paul Hollingworth and Jeff Whitehead
After our cold and wet Spring, it was a glorious surprise that the first Saturday of Summer was warm (but not too hot) and stunningly sunny. This was the day of the Motafrenz Christmas Party!
Following from Committee discussions from last year’s event, we thought that, although some people might not like functions at private residences, we have many other events for these people, and that the Christmas Party works best when at a member’s home. This year it was at Jeff’s home at Seaford. In my opinion, a perfect venue for the Party – close to the freeway, close to the train station and, I’m told, close to the beach.
This was the first year since the start of the pandemic that we had a catered Christmas event. Chris and his team did a smashing job with the food – delicious and plentiful. It was also the first time in living memory that our dear old Mary Christmas was absent. The poor old dear, I am told, was getting too intimate with Santa’s elves and got herself a case of COVID.
In her place, we had our Dear Leader (me) acting as MC, our Monarch Jessie as our Kris Kringle announcer, and our “elves” Thomas and Joseph. I believe we proved ourselves capable – everyone got a pressie, and it didn’t take the whole day to get through it (sounds like a success to me).
Which brings me to the highlight of the event for me – my contribution to the Kris Kringle. When I was at the Canberra weekend away, I saw some coffee mugs at the gift shop at Parliament House. Each mug featured the head and details of a Prime Minister. I thought it might be a bit of a lark to give away at the Christmas Party – maybe the recipient could use it for pencils, as a doorstop, or maybe use it to pick up their dog poops. In reality what did they do? Leave it hidden in one of Jeff’s cupboards! Bless you my friend, you are my new legend! I do apologise though that the present didn’t appeal to you. Please see me next time you are at an event and I’ll buy you some coffee and cakes. – Paul Hollingworth.
After much concern about what La Niña would do with the weather for our Motafrenz Christmas party, it turned out to be a stunningly perfect day with members and friends alike enjoying a classic Aussie style Christmas barbecue in a member’s backyard in Seaford.
Well my backyard as it turned out to be with plenty of space for all, the new marquee and plenty of everything albeit sadly no Mary Christmas as the virus is going around the North Pole too. As you know, Mary’s skills at knowing who each and everyone of us is goes unsurpassed and was sorely missed.
Just a few days before the barbecue, Chirs G thankfully arrived to assemble a not very minimalist Christmas tree. Just like our president Paul, I have a rather minimalist approach to Christmas and this tree was very welcome. The Christmas tree looked splendid on the day with all the Kris Kringles placed around the base, albeit I had to wrap Paul’s Kris Kringle he purchased up in Canberra and had wrapped in minimalist brown paper.
The background music played on the day was all on vinyl records and in keeping with the Aussie Christmas barbecue theme was mostly Australian bands from the Seekers to Goanna to TISM (This Is Serious Mum) whom your chef Marty and I saw the previous day at Flemington Race course. We discovered there were many TISM fans present and TISM is also the current Priminster’s favourite band, not the previous Prime Minister’s. A relevant reference a little later dear readers.
My Sister Denise, who many met that day, reminded me that we saw the Seekers in nineteen sixty something or other at the Myer Music bowl. Gosh! Moving on very quickly…
The vast spread of food was magnificent to say the least. The food was organised and presented by Chris D and his fantastic helpers and cooked on the barbecue by my best mate Marty.
Thanks to Chris Q as many of us got to see the club’s new magnificent 6m by 3m club marquee for the first time and enjoyed the printed artwork and shade protection it provided on this lovely warm sunny day.
Big thanks to our club monarch Jess for his thankful speech about his enjoyment with Motafrenz over the many years as his alter ego Jessica Jessica, who many of you will be familiar with from Pride to ChillOut. And also a thank you to Jess’s two trusty elves who handed out all the Kris Krigles.
This really was a relaxing day and great conversations allround. I wish I could have caught up with so many more for a chat, but having organised my place so that it would run perfectly and smoothly on the day, which I think it did, I was still pretty busy doing lots of little things but still enjoyed good company and conversations while relaxing with many who attended.
There was a great deal of preparation and work by many to make this event run smoothly. I’ll put it out there that if everyone thought this was a good space for an event like this, it could well happen again.
As this wonderful day drew to a close, I was utterly gobsmacked when walking into my kitchen to find a coffee mug! A real coffee mug with someone’s mug printed on it! Challenged as to what to do with this mug, or who to blame, I quickly realised I could censure this mug with my trusty 1960’s Dymo labeler. This mug has now become objet d’art in memory of our dear president who really does have a wicked sense of humour when touring with the club to Canberra. “It was on special!” I am told. I seriously needed to listen to some more TISM. Nonetheless, our club’s wonderful Christmas party was made a success by all who contributed and to all who attended and we all ate and socialised very well – Jeff Whitehead.
Many Thanks and Congratulations to Chris Q, Chris D, Jeff W, Chris G; the events team and all the helpers for organizing and running the event, managing all the catering, and providing what turned out to be an exceptionally enjoyable Christmas Party for all at Motafrenz and their Frenz, to thoroughly enjoy.