HONOURED: A young Merv Johnson (left, front) with a multicultural cane-cutting crew.
HONOURED: A young Merv Johnson (left, front) with a multicultural cane-cutting crew. Contributed

1770 Captain Cook Festival honours two of its founders

FOR 26 years, Agnes Water/1770 has held a festival to acknowledge and celebrate the landing of Lt James Cook.

But if it wasn't for the efforts of Patricia Kan, there would be no festival.

The idea emerged after Ms Kan read a gruelling and hurtful newspaper article about Agnes Water that said, "they don't even celebrate Cook's landing, the birth of their town".

It prompted her to do something about it and the idea of having an annual 1770 Captain Cook Festival was born.

Since the very first ceremony in 1992 to now, the much-loved festival has flourished and won many awards.

This year, for the first time, the Captain Cook 1770 Festival is having an Honours Ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate members of the community who have been loyal, supportive and irreplaceable volunteers over the past 26 years.

Ms Kan is the first recipient of the award.

She said the support and camaraderie of the community was wonderful; she couldn't have done it without them.

 

Patricia Kan.
Patricia Kan. The Coastal Rag

The second recipient is Merv Johnson, senior elder of the Gooreng Gooreng indigenous people and a well-loved and respected member of the Bundaberg community.

Mr Johnson has played a vital role in the festival each year, sharing his rich cultural heritage and unfailing support for 26 years.

Both he and Patricia have been there since the beginning and watched the festival grow and change each year.

The 1770 Festival Day Honours Ceremony will be held this Saturday at 5pm.

Everyone is invited to watch these two incredibly deserving people received their award.



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