Plenty of cheer for memorial fundraiser
PROCEEDS from this year's Sgt Matthew Locke MG Memorial match held at Bellingen Park should exceed $13,000.
While this is a little down on 2014, it's still a great contribution from the community towards Mates4Mates, the Grub Club charity programs and Bellingen junior rugby league and cricket clubs.
Chief organiser Debbie Locke passed on her thanks to the army of volunteers who helped to make the annual tribute in her brother's memory another raging success.
"While the Army Thunder won the game 32-16, it was another superb effort by the Magpies and the crowd loved every minute," Debbie said.
"Our special guests, His Excellency Governor David Hurley and Mrs Hurley said they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
"The governor loves his footy and is a great supporter of South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"Also the golf day and the performance by the army band at C.ex Coffs were both well attended and very successful."
With a minimum of fanfare and with good intentions, the Bellingen and wider Group 2 Rugby League communities have, little by little, made a world of difference to the emerging nation of Timor Leste.
In the years since former Magpie player Matthew Locke was killed in action in Afghanistan, the Grub Club has completed a school building project with more projects in store.
"Jino, our East Timorese manager, is presently collecting information, including financials and plans for a teaching scholarship and two pre-schools.
"We hope to provide a scholarship to a student who went through Escola Pre-Secondaria Foho Ailico and who wants to undertake teacher training.
"The Grub Club is looking at providing funding to cover the course fees and a small living allowance.
"We are looking at costings and plans for the pre-schools with one to be built at the current Bei Cala school complex.
"This will enhance the existing primary and high schools arrangement.
"The second pre-school is for the small village of Boramba, which is a feeder area for Bei Cala and has a small primary school.
"We are looking at one-room buildings, possibly open but under cover.
"Once we get the costings and plans, the committee will meet and make final arrangements for these exciting additions to our ongoing involvement in Bei Cala and East Timor."
To find out more about the Grub Club, go to http://www.grubclub.ululus.net.