The following contribution to the Farina restoration story has been made by FRG Volunteer Norm Witt:
“Well another season of volunteering started for Cheryl and I mid way through set up week. It was great to catch up with old friends again and also new ones. This year we certainly cemented a number of friendships with people that we new before, but really didn’t know, until this yr. I think l nearly, almost nearly got Ernie Sharman worked out??? I felt accepted when he anointed me to allow me to use the traditional fire poking stick. What a privilege it was.
IT WAS A FABULOUS GROUP OF PEOPLE that spent their time with us, together doing all the tasks that we took on. Again led by the FABULOUS John and Jenny, wouldn’t be the same without them. Many of us used the campfire of a night for cooking and telling all sorts of tales, both true and bu–s–t ones. They were great moments of friendship and laughter. The wet gave us a little challenge, but we survived.
My work tasks started with the usual fix this and that, with the set up week, doing whatever was needed of me. Cheryl was as usual in the bakery/shop tasks, which she likes very much, again with a great group of girls and guys, especially those bakers and Nifty. It wouldn’t be the same without them. THEN, the first week of the program started.
From the time l became a volunteer some yrs ago, high on my don’t want to do list, and l might add the only thing on that list, was not to do STONE WORK, l just hate puzzles. Start of week one, and they were short of Stonies.
So yours truly put his hand up, reluctantly, to mix mortar, fetch and carry ect, but no stone placings of any form.
Team leader was the lovely Maree. Followed by our stone master Peter Russell and his lovely wife Jen.
WELL, Maree and Jen didn’t miss a beat, they got on like a home on fire, you couldn’t get a word in without interrupting them, it was great to see and all other players in the team were the same, we all mixed and got on and appreciated everyone’s efforts. And guess what!! I started doing stone work in between my mixing and other tasks.
The encouragement by Maree and Peter was second to none, although, I’m still not sure if l may have been conned??? Or Not by both of them
But guess what, l throughly enjoyed it.
I still sit with reservations that l don’t enjoy puzzles, but l know that the whole team of stoneys made my time very enjoyable indeed. We had some additional team members start with the original team as the weeks went on and we were so lucky, they fitted in so well, and they were like me, newbys to stone work. It’s great to see people from all walks of life just fit in and get on with it. I look forward to the next trip to Farina. “