The McDonald clan got together for their family party at Park Beach yesterday.
The McDonald clan got together for their family party at Park Beach yesterday. Bruce Thomas

Family reunion boosts economy

THERE aren’t many families who can lay claim to having a relative economic impact all on their own, but the McDonald clan has done just that this Easter.

For the ninth time since 1986 the McDonald family reunion has swamped Park Beach, bringing close to 100 visitors to the city.

Held every three years and always in Coffs Harbour, the reunion brings four generations of McDonalds from Brisbane, Mackay and Newcastle together for a fun-filled long weekend.

Organiser Cathy Price said the reunion started in 1986 when three sisters, now aged between 80 and 87, thought it would be a great idea to get together for Easter.

“This year we have the three original sisters and 92 of their descendents all staying at Sandcastles,” Ms Price said.

“We have taken 33 of their 36 units for between four and seven nights so in accommodation alone will inject close to $25,000 into the Coffs Harbour economy.”

“By the time we eat and amuse ourselves, shop, of course, and hit the greens at the Park Beach Bowling Club as well as the golf club, our dollar drop into local businesses quickly adds up.”

But emerging victorious in state of origin sporting clashes is merely an aside to the main drawcard of the reunion.

“It is great to get together and catch up on each other’s lives, even when sometimes the news is sad,” Ms Price said. The McDonald Family Reunion will notch up its 10th anniversary in 2013, and yes, it will be held at Park Beach.



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