Yaraka makes a song and dance about yarns

Cocktail party proceeds helping to fund Yaraka Yarns


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Already renowned for its larger-than-life characters and tall stories, the western Queensland community of Yaraka gave that reputation a boost on Saturday.

Already renowned for its larger-than-life characters and tall stories, the tiny western Queensland community of Yaraka gave that reputation a boost on Saturday when it hosted a centenary cocktail party.

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Such was the success of the two-day singing workshop undertaken by Cathy Drummond in the lead-up that ‘Shirley Bassey’ made a surprise appearance on the night, designed to continue the town’s 100 year celebration and raise money for a book that captures the lighter side of life there.

Yaraka Yarns - all the clangers from over the years, from B&S busters to schoolroom facepalms – is being compiled to raise money for the RFDS and the Black Dog Institute.

Organiser Claire Jackson said Saturday’s party had given them a solid financial start for that as well as the creation of a few modern-day yarns, thanks to the evening’s cocktail consumption.

“Everyone’s hoping we don’t sing at the B&S,” she laughed. “Honestly, I can’t say enough about Cathy Drummond. She made it so much fun and everyone got something out of it.”

The workshops were funded by the RADF.

As for the progress of Yaraka Yarns, Claire said they were flowing in and giving her lots of giggles.

So far there’s enough to fill 125 pages but Claire’s aim is for between 200 and 250 pages, complete with photographs and illustrations.

“We were aiming to have it ready for the B&S on November 25, and I’d still like to try for then, but we want to get it just right too.

“Some people want to tell us their yarn over smoko and they’re the type of story you need to take time for.”

Claire has also been extra busy with Longreach Miss Showgirl and Central and North West Miss Showgirl duties, as well as her governessing job and studying for a Bachelor of Media and Communications at UNE.

“We were really happy with Saturday night, even though numbers were less than we hoped for. There were lots of generous people there with money to spare to help us get the book published and support the Black Dog Institute and the RFDS.”

Anyone with last minute inspiration or the desire to have their story recorded for the next 100 years of posterity can get their yarns, photos and comics in to clairejackson247@gmail.com

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