Buoyant spirits not dampened by wet weather

Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), CPO Carl Stewart (photographer)

Location(s): Nowra, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Cancer Council

The 723 and 808 Squadron teams for the Shoalhaven Relay For Life 2014. (photo: CPO Carl Stewart)
The 723 and 808 Squadron teams for the Shoalhaven Relay For Life 2014.

Torrential rain over the Shoalhaven in the days leading up to the Relay For Life meant the event had to be relocated at the last minute and the format had to be reduced. But while the rain played havoc with the logistics, it did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 1300 participants who raised more than $174,000 for the Cancer Council.

As usual HMAS Albatross was well represented with teams from both 723 and 808 Squadrons.

The 23 members of the 723 Taipans team raised $7806.00. This amount was achieved not only through relay sponsorship, but a significant contribution came from 723’s tireless Training Administrator Mary Milgate.

Participating in her 8th consecutive Relay For Life, Mary not only took to the track on the day but also expended a lot of effort in the lead-up, making pickles and jams which she sold as well.
 
Mary said she was “absolutely thrilled” by the response to the 723 Taipan’s efforts.

“On the eve of the event we were third on the leader board in terms of funds raised,” she said.

Mary also had praise for the Relay For Life committee.

“They did an amazing job in relocating the event with just 48 hours notice and even though the event had to be truncated, it worked brilliantly and the Relay For Life spirit was there in abundance.”

A particularly moving donation of $385.00 was given to the Relay for Life in lieu of funeral flowers for a 723 Squadron member’s father.

808 Squadron’s 12 member team ran or walked a total of 370 laps which equals just over $1200 for the Cancer Council.

For 808’s Chief Petty Officer Carl Stewart it was a family affair as he was joined on a few by his sons Wesley and Adam.

Chief Petty Officer Stewart said despite the rain the mood was buoyant.
 
“The level of enthusiasm from both participants and onlookers was great to see”, he said, “and it’s also inspiring to see so many local community members giving up their time and energy for the Cancer Council,” he said.

Chief Petty Officer Carl Stewart with his sons Wesley and Adam during the Shoalhaven Relay for Life event in 2014.

Chief Petty Officer Carl Stewart with his sons Wesley and Adam during the Shoalhaven Relay for Life event in 2014.