Special event for Cooma's service clubs

The Combined Service Club's Annual Dinner has become an institution since it was first established locally 11 years ago. It was the brilliant inspiration of John O'Brien, then of Apex, now of Lions.

It is a special occasion when members of CWA, Lions, Rotary and VIEW clubs get together to mix and mingle, discuss, banter, network, and exchange views.

Each club hosts the event in turn and this year it was the CWA which did the organising. CWA President Barbara Scanes welcomed guests, and guided the evening's program.

And it was bigger than usual, with more than 180 members and guests at the Cooma Ex-Services Club, including the delegation from the Japanese city of Yamaga which was visiting Cooma.

The Yamaga students even put in a spirited performance on stage, and although some of the words may have been lost in translation, no one could fault the enthusiasm, nor the reception from the local audience.

The special guest this year was Ruth Shanks, president of the south Pacific area of the Associated Country Women of the World - the CWA's international branch.

She gave a detailed account of her organisation's work in the South Pacific, helping out where it can, providing funds and assistance to communities in need.

Each of the Cooma service clubs gave a rundown of their events and activities, providing an overview of the extensive volunteer community work carried out by their members.

It was a night of celebration, information sharing and entertainment - an initiative that is being copied by other towns.

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