A Christmas Road Trip Out West

By Flinders Chaplain Reverend Lizzie Gaitskell

Yesterday, my son Isaac and I drove to Miles and today we called in to the Murilla Community Centre where we had a lovey welcome from Mrs Cecily Brockhurst, and Isaac and I sat down for a Christmassy morning tea with some of the beautiful residents from Milton House (an aged care home). We delivered the last of our boxes of donated books - mostly dictionaries to the Centre's new second-hand bookshop where they will be sold or given away, or distributed to local small schools. We also called into the Dogwood Crossing Gallery and enjoyed the exhibition curated by Annabelle Brayley commemorating the homecoming of soldiers from conflict.

On the way to Murilla through Dalby and Chinchilla we noticed quite a bit of standing water in the culverts and low spots near the Highway. Sometimes this doesn’t get as far as Miles, but we noticed this time it did! Over the weekend the locals had around three inches of much-needed rain. An answer to prayer - although a little more is needed yet. Dogwood Creek is still quite low as you can see from the photograph - although it's lovely to see a fringe of green grass around the edges.

This year, in addition to our Christmas Gift Cards Drive of December 2018, which had raised $2000 in eftpos gift cards for families most in need in the region, we raised a little over $5000 for drought relief through the Murilla Community Centre. My thanks to our Flinders Prefects of 2018, our Primary Student Staff Council, Mrs Trudi Edwards, Mrs Ingrid Clarke and Ms Chris Curtain, Interact and McCubbin House and Mrs Carol Marais and Mrs Wendy Cook for their wonderful generosity of spirit! We have also donated and bought books and raffle prizes for the April 2018 Book Fest, and donated formal gowns this year too. Cecily and the Murilla Team are very appreciative of our efforts.

Today we received this beautiful home-made card from Cecily and the Murilla Team. It reads:

"Dear Staff and Students of Matthew Flinders (Anglican) College. We really do not know how to thank you for all your kindness and generosity throughout the year, much love and blessings from Cecily, Staff and Members of our Board of Management."

We look forward to our Service-Learning Tour to Miles and Taroom in September 2019, and continuing to build our friendships with our western partners.

A happy and holy Christmas to you all - God bless!

Rev'd Lizzie

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