Wyong Electorate Community Service Awards
WYONG ELECTORATE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS
Mr CRITTENDEN (Wyong) [4.52 p.m.]: On Sunday, 27 April, it was my privilege to attend the Toukley sailing club to present Mr Bill and Mrs Joan Cheal with the Premier's award for services to the community. Bill Cheal is one of those gentlemen in my electorate who carries out a great deal of voluntary work on behalf of the Toukley sailing club, of which he has been secretary for 30 years. Bill is acknowledged as the person who keeps that club viable; he does all the organisational work. In
fact, he does more by providing support for younger people who wish to become involved in sailing. It is not uncommon for Bill to be at his office at the club. On every occasion I have rung the Cheal residence during working hours his wife Joan invariably informs me that Bill is at his other home - the Toukley sailing club.
Bill Cheal is one of those who make enormous contributions to the community in which I live and am proud to represent. He is always willing to advise young people who want to learn sailing. In winter on Saturday afternoons he conducts yatchsmanship classes for people to learn the finer techniques as well as gain practical experience in the summer. If anyone has a problem with their boat, whether it is a leak or the boat coming adrift, Bill is always there to repair the problem. All too often in today's society we hear that young people have nothing to do and that facilities need to be provided for them. Bill and Joan Cheal do precisely that.
Bill repairs old boats and hires them for $40 for an entire sailing season. Certainly that provides ample scope for any young person, particularly in my electorate, to become involved in sailing. The tragedy is that last season there were more boats than people to take up the offer. I wonder sometimes whether people do not avail themselves of opportunities. Certainly a great deal of information was provided to local schools about these opportunities to learn sailing. I hope more young people take up that generous offer in the future.
Mrs Joan Cheal runs the canteen for the club on days when races are held. She organises volunteers to assist and she does an excellent job with catering. Though the Toukley sailing club might not be tremendously big - members would number around 50 or 60 - its members are dedicated. The club presents a family atmosphere and brings a sense of community to Toukley. Perhaps that is what society today misses most. As the central coast grows and new residents move into my electorate, more than ever we need to maintain and build upon the community spirit, the common goals and aspirations that can be achieved so often through sport. Bill and Joan Cheal certainly achieve that through their involvement with Toukley sailing club. I commend their great interest in young people and in sailing.
Mr FACE (Charlestown - Minister for Gaming and Racing, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Hunter Development) [4.57 p.m.]: I compliment the honourable member for Wyong on his contribution. Bill and Joan Cheal and their family are well known in the upper central coast area through their connection with the Toukley sailing club. My portfolio covers charities and non-profit organisations, and I often see tremendous voluntary work being done by many people. Quite frankly, if voluntary services were to disappear, governments at all levels, of all political persuasions, would have to find considerable amounts of money to match the efforts of those who give so freely of themselves with such dedication, in most cases without seeking any reward. The honourable member for Wyong is obviously close to the non-profit and charity groups within the Wyong electorate. I too compliment Bill and Joan Cheal for the magnificent contribution they have made to that area.