An inaugural community event is likely to become an annual feature of the calendar if members of the city and region respond positively to the invitation to “Light up Newcastle and Rotary” (LUNAR).
Chinese New Year occurs on Saturday 21 February and the day will be marked in Newcastle by a Lantern Walk through the Honeysuckle Precinct.
Chaplain to Seafarers, Rick McCosker, is looking forward to the event and is thrilled that Newcastle Rotary Clubs have chosen Mission to Seafarers as the beneficiary. “The Mission desperately needs a new minibus to transport seafarers from the ships to our centre, and to church services, shops and places of interest. The Light up Newcastle Lantern Walk promises to be a fun event, a fitting end to the summer festivities at Honeysuckle and a fundraiser for a worthy cause.”
The Mission assists the many seafarers visiting the Port of Newcastle with a ‘home away from home’ at the Seafarers Centre at Wickham. Currently up to 40,000 seafarers have access to the services offered by the Mission each year.
On the afternoon and evening of 21 February, people will be encouraged to purchase a distinctive red lantern and walk from Nobby’s or from Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club to converge at the Maritime Centre. Here there will be dragon boat races, lion dancers, musical entertainment and the usual attractions of the Honeysuckle Precinct.
Special features will be a sail past by members of Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and firing of the Fort Scratchley guns.
A short ceremony will be held outside the Maritime Centre at 7pm involving dignitaries and sponsors. VIPs and sponsors will be involved in the ceremony to ‘wake up’ the lion dancers to herald in good luck for the New Year!