• Jenny Andrew and Paul Jurak

    Jenny Andrew and Paul Jurak

  • Jo Boyd, ASue Merlino and Andrea Parsons

    Jo Boyd, ASue Merlino and Andrea Parsons

  • Mim Forrest and Liz Burman

    Mim Forrest and Liz Burman

  • Di Summerhayes and Norma Hayman

    Di Summerhayes and Norma Hayman

  • Dot Barclay with guest speaker Paul Jurak

    Dot Barclay with guest speaker Paul Jurak

  • Elizabeth Briggs and Margaret Reid

    Elizabeth Briggs and Margaret Reid

  • Alison Aitken and June Gordon

    Alison Aitken and June Gordon

  • Margaret Baker, Margot Loeschnauer and Norma Twiss

    Margaret Baker, Margot Loeschnauer and Norma Twiss

  • Belinda Kenyon, Suzanne O'Connor and Sarah Grieves

    Belinda Kenyon, Suzanne O'Connor and Sarah Grieves

  • Mini cuppas of the confectionary kind.....

    Mini cuppas of the confectionary kind.....

  • Maura Pertlot and Miri Barhen

    Maura Pertlot and Miri Barhen

  • Anira Handley, Brian Leonard and Audrey Smidmore

    Anira Handley, Brian Leonard and Audrey Smidmore

  • Forrest Primary School Brass Band

    Forrest Primary School Brass Band

  • Fred Burman and Jacquie Hawkins

    Fred Burman and Jacquie Hawkins

  • Jo McDonagh, Louise Judd, Joanne Allen, Marcia McKinnon and Sharon Kendrick

    Jo McDonagh, Louise Judd, Joanne Allen, Marcia McKinnon and Sharon Kendrick

  • Laura Hall and Angus Souter

    Laura Hall and Angus Souter

World's Biggest Morning Tea 2015

28 May 2015

If curing cancer was as simple as joining with friends and like minded people for a morning tea, we’d be fronting up every day, slipping our money into the coffers and handing it over to the Cancer Council before indulging in the accompanying delights that go with a good cuppa.

I’m a regular at the World’s Biggest Morning Tea event at the Forrest Hotel and Apartments where Joan Waldren, the doyenne of the family owners, is a very hands on hostess imploring us all to eat more because there’s always plenty, and after 18 years has made this the must attend event for cancer fundraising. The silent auction always an eclectic mix of good buys with this year the favourite a kayak experience with plumber/photographer Paul Jurak who has made our early morning lake the picture postcard experience unique with exceptional photographs he shares online. But his other story is about cancer. Testicular cancer of the most aggressive kind and the experiences he made his own. There’s no one guide book for cancer. Nothing to tell you how to act and react, to endure alone or share, scream often and long or just get on with it, whatever that might mean. And Paul’s story was the kind blokes need to hear.

His story was personal but disarmingly frank, and his discovery that kayaking with a camera every day was a new and exciting direction to pursue, a comment on the opportunities that come from adversity. And you have to love a bloke whose first question to the surgeon at diagnosis was would he end up with a high voice?  Well he’s a plumber, working with the blokes who would be most likely to give him a hard time if he lost the baritone tones.

The girls among my friends who have had the dreaded breast cancer can articulate well their experiences. They are the elders of the tribe, keepers of the stories and shoulders to lean on. Not least one family who beat Angelina to the decision to get rid of the ‘girls’, albeit after the breast cancer experience and are a living example to us all. We started the week with a Sunday morning tea to raise funds in the sunny sides of Narrabundah while golfers started their games in the frost. We have to believe one day we’ll be toasting a cure at one of these mornings.....I hope sooner rather than later.