Golden Gift

Published on Saturday, 5 June 2021 at 2:49:00 PM

This weekend has been my favourite, along with the Kalgoorlie Cup weekend, for some years. For anyone who hasn’t gone to Leonora for the Golden Gift weekend, it is real Australiana, with fun and joyous times being had by all involved.

This year, I have an extra reason to look forward to the weekend, as since the last Gift, I have become involved in bowls, and have helped the Leonora Shire host the first major lawn bowls tournament on their fantastic bowling rink, which was built with Royalties for Regions funds.

I’m confident the many lawn bowlers coming from around Western Australia will be like me, and become disciples of this weekend, and will be coming back again in future years.

Watching the likes of Kate Cebrano singing in Tower Street, and Australia’s best athletes running past the town’s two hotels and Biggs Butchers Shop is something very special. Another reason why I love this weekend is the long standing Menzies Classic bike race, which has gone from a one day race from Menzies to Kalgoorlie, to a two day race in the other direction, finishing on Sunday in Tower Street. The Cyclassic and the Golden Gift have been attended by various State Ministers over the years, and they all agree it is a very special weekend, one that deserves funding, and I was pleased to see that both events received grants through the Regional Events Scheme.

To that regard, I will be inviting the new Minister for Tourism, David Templeman, who from my own experience in Parliament, enjoys a good time, to the Leonora Golden Gift and Cyclassic weekend next year. Like those who have been before him, I am sure he will be most impressed.

On Saturday night, the heats of the Golden Gift Elite Female and Men’s Mile will be held in the main street, followed by the free community concert. On the Sunday afternoon, the elite women’s and men’s finals will be held and as in previous Olympic years, you will see the best female and male athletes on your television sets in just a few months’ time competing at the Tokyo Olympics. That brings it home to you just how special the Golden Gift is, and how the dream and vision of then Leonora Shire President, Graham Dawes, with CEO Jim Epis as his right hand man, made this one of the great weekends in regional Western Australia.

Because of the popularity of the event, I know that accommodation is nearly all booked out, but you can still come up on the day – it’s just a two hour drive from Kalgoorlie – so come up for the day tomorrow and as well as taking in the atmosphere in the main street and watching the final of the bowls tournament, you can go and inspect the historic town of Gwalia and Hoover House up on the hill, and maybe call in to the Grand Hotel at Kookynie on the way home for a quiet ale.

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