On a typical Perth late October Sunday afternoon, with unseasonably overcast weather, and there is much to be said for our very pleasant and laid back lifestyle. A quick check of the headline news shows that the lead story is Gretel Kileen has been dumped as Big Brother host. So you can see that the big pressing issues of society really dominates our discussion, especially during these grand election campaign weeks.
Big qudos today for the WA Maccabi Sports club for their Yokine Fair, hosted to raise funds for the construction of a new pavilion. Hopefully sufficient funds will have been raised to allow their target to be met. Obviously a tremendous effort went into arrangements, and the respectable size of the crowd was reasonable reward enough.
The atmosphere at the event was very communal, and there was enough to see and do to keep visitors occupied for several hours, which makes for a good day out. The comment that Maccabi ran this event with an understanding of their limitations is very much a compliment. To their credit they did not try to make the occasion too big, and the community environment at the park was much better as a result. The event was well supported by both the Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Yokine, which was very much the intent of the organisers.
Having said this, the advertising and promotions of the fair did stop short of telling those who would not know exactly what Maccabi sports club is. The word “Jewish” seemed to be deliberately avoided, as if it would serve as a negative stigma. The only criticism that Jewgle puts forward is that Maccabi should be proud and open about its status as a Jewish sports club, and as such should not shy away from this when approaching the broader community. Observant Jews do have other issues with Maccabi, as an organisation that does not respect kosher traditions, and plays organised sport on Shabbat and Yom Tov. However, sadly this is not unique to Perth. As an instituion Maccabi does a lot of good, provides excellent sporting, cultural and social connections, and is very much part of the fabric of the community. Some years back the management of Maccabi saw the club falter in some respects, but the club has turned itself around, delivered a greater range of activities, and has the energy within it to create fundraising activities allround. That deserves a big accolade.
For a sleepy Sunday afternoon stroll to the park, with some activities and community, today was a very pleasant day. Not for all. Some parents at the fair were restraining kids, and one parent was heard to remark that although his kids were having a great time, he may as well have taken a $50 note out of his pocket, burnt it, and saved himself the drama.
Finally, who could forget the elections! Both Labour and Liberal had their campaigns and candidates out in the park, with much traditional electioneering adding to the aforementioned community atmosphere. They were both dispensing balloons. If one had to take a snap poll on the basis of the number of red versus blue balloons, then it would very easily be a favourable result to Michael Keenan!