Friday 13 November 2015 saw the 23rd annual Catholic Support Staff dinner. 190 support staff attended the event which was again held at Marina Views on Newcastle Harbour – and we were very well looked after. After acknowledging and paying our respects to traditional custodians of the land on which the gathering took place, we were led into Grace by Mr Ray Collins – Amazing Grace, actually! Sung to the tune of House of the Rising Sun – it was a stirring sound and set the tone of the evening.
Ray thanked the St Mary’s Gateshead staff for their organisation of the event for the third year and acknowledged the six retiring staff members – Robyn Allardice, St Columban’s Mayfield; Pam McDermott and Ruth Bonano, St Mary’s Maitland; Colleen Lewis, St John Vianney Morisset; Julie Collins, St Joseph’s Merewether and Lilly Martin, St Therese’s New Lambton. Joadie Wright was also thanked for her contribution to St Peter’s Maitland as she moves to the Northern Territory. Each lady received a bottle of champagne from the Support Staff Dinner Organising Committee and Mr Ray Collins presented each retiree with a plaque for their service to each school.
The venue really came into its own once the sun had gone down, the lights from Newcastle twinkled, Mother Nature sent a wonderful display of thunder and lightning and the view of the Marina looked fantastic. As the lights were dimmed and the music began, Debbie Carter, Chris Shaw and April Bisegna did indulge in a sneaky high-five for their organisation of a wonderful evening. The ladies have enjoyed immensely the opportunity to organise the annual event for the last three years and are very happy take up the challenge for 2016.
Thank you to all who attended – see you next year.
Debbie Carter, Chris Shaw & April Bisegna
Support Staff Organising Committee – St Mary’s High School Gateshead