From Rev Andrew Smith
Presbytery Minister - Congregation Futures
Monty’s Place offers free meals on Wednesday lunchtimes from the hall of Narooma Uniting Church. They have good news about the recent installation of a gas-powered generator to ensure continued operation and support to the local community during blackouts like those of the 19/20 bushfires. There has been tremendous local and wider support for Monty’s Place to raise the funds for the installation. Here is the press release prepared by Di White of the Mt Dromedary Parish in our Presbytery.
“Mt Dromedary Parish of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) and Monty’s Place, Narooma are happy to announce the installation of a gas-powered generator at the Narooma Uniting Church complex. Monty’s thanks all those who contributed their time and funds to bring this project to a successful conclusion.
“Following the lengthy blackouts after the 2019/2020 bushfires, the Uniting Church and Monty’s Place added a generator to their wish lists, which would safeguard food supplies and enable both bodies to better support their community in an emergency.
“At first, the projected cost of $17,000 for a diesel generator seemed overwhelming. When the first $10,000 was raised (comprising a grant from the Uniting/Target Bushfire appeal and donations from individuals within the St Ives congregation of the UCA), the viability of the project came up for discussion at Monty’s. Monty’s allocated funds and individual members of Monty’s board also made donations to the project.
“Just prior to the submission of the Development Application to the Eurobodalla Shire Council, Stephen Cornwaithe of MESA (Micro Energy Systems Australia), who was to supply and install the diesel generator, rang with very exciting news. He had sourced a gas-powered generator which was more compact and quieter. Being gas-powered overcame the greatest concern: sourcing and/or storage of sufficient diesel to keep the generator running in an emergency. Monty’s also thanks Lisa, Steve’s wife and partner at MESA, for all the time and effort spent in preparing the paperwork and securing SHASA’s (Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance) support.
“SHASA offered to cover price increases (it had been a lengthy fundraising effort) and maintenance costs for the first five years valued at $1,325.
“Another big thanks to Lisa and Stephen: when preparing its account MESA’s opted to absorb the GST further reducing costs to Monty’s and the Narooma Uniting Church.
“Monty’s Place has not missed offering a meal on any Wednesday since its inception on 23 October 2013. Monty’s continued to operate in difficult conditions during the first week of 2020 and contributed more than 500 meals to the Narooma evacuation centre.
“Monty’s has provided takeaway meals throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but with COVID restrictions easing, Monty’s is now transitioning back to dine-in service. During the transition, both dine-in and takeaway are available. COVID distancing rules still apply. So, for now, Monty’s guests have to forgo the dine-in extras (flowers, tablecloths, freedom to move about the room to chat and share hugs). But, for Monty’s volunteers, it is so good to see happy, familiar faces again and catch up. Come and join or re-join the Monty’s Place community. You’re welcome any Wednesday 12.00-1.30pm.”