NEWS from ‘Down Under’

P1050418We are pleased to announce the first annual ‘Teddy Bear Parachute Championship took place, without serious incident, at Christ Church, Birregurra, Australia. Ginger Stephens has passed on to me a press release he has received from his friends ‘down under’ which I am pleased to publish in full.

P1050389On Sunday, 13th January, the first annual Teddy Bear Parachuting Championships took place at Christ Church, Birregurra.

A goodly crowd of 49 bears of many sizes and ages and their families arrived on a perfect parachuting day to participate in this inaugural event. The was a slight wind and some cloud cover which assisted both the bears to parachute successfully and the crowd to watch them drop. P1050412Bears were lifted to the top of the tower in a special lift which rather resembled a laundry basket but which had been modified to ensure a safe arrival at the top. Thanks to the traffic controller, Ron Bishop, who ensured that all bears were correctly belted in .

Members of the Birregurra C.F.A. were in position at the top of the tower to receive and launch all P1050401parachutists. This was done most efficiently and many bears made their landing reasonably close to the target area.The C.F.A. made good use of their training in effecting rescues of several bears who were blown off course  and we are pleased to report that every bear was able to return home with their families on the day with only one exception..Tango’s rescue was a little more complicated but he spent the night with friends before going home.

P1050431We are happy to report that there were no serious accidents though our trauma nurse was kept quite busy attending to minor injuries.

P1050396Thank you also to Annette Wragg and Ron Eichler who were the official markers for the closest to the pin award. Not an easy task at times , with enthusiastic bears falling thick and fast.

The committee would like to thank most sincerely everyone who participated in any way to make the day such a success — the adventurous bears, the parachute makers, the picnickers. the C.F.A.sausage sizzlers. the officials, etc etc It is planned to make this an annual event and we are already thinking about a bigger and better time next year.

Christine West

Christ Church Committee

Well done Christ Church! But how about next year arranging a challenge match too see who can raise the most money for a good cause or charity. Perhaps we could use the ashes from burning the parachute of one of the loosing bears and send to the winners in a little urn – or has someone thought of something similar before?

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