This art prize is a part of Well-Being Australia's community environmental, respite and art initiatives which saw its launch in February and the creative entry form released in April.
Once again the MC will be Sue Spencer of Midge Point who performed in this role at February's launch and who introduced me as chairman of Well-Being Australia who instigated the art prize with the assistance of Mr Basil Sellers AM.
Sue Spencer noted that she and her husband Sean are volunteers with Well-Being Australia by looking after those who visit the Laguna Quays Respite cottage, these are missionaries who have come for rest and respite after years of the mission field, as far away as South America, the Middle East, South East Asia and the like.
Sue said she and Sean were guests of Mark and Delma Tronson at the Cricket in Sydney (SCG) last year where Mark had been hosted a corporate box by NSW Cricket to celebrate Mark's sixtieth and 27 years as Chaplain to Australian Cricket (17 years as with the Australian Team and since 2001 Life After Cricket).
On that occasion it was my privilege to explain to the gathering that after 18 years birthing Sports Chaplaincy across Australia (1982-2000) I fell ill and Heads of Churches released Delma and me from the Sports Ministry to establish Well-Being Australia as a volunteer ministry involving less strenuous activities such as the arts.
To this end Mr Basil Sellers AM donated the funds to establish an art gallery in Moruya where we then lived (2003) and a $15,000 art prize (2004) and in 2006 Mr Sellers established the $100,000 Sport-Art Prize in Melbourne. Last year I approached Basil Sellers to support a small art prize for the Midge Point – Bloomsbury area to put something back into the community.
The $2000 art prize was given the green light.
Mr Neil Brooks who is hosting the art prize as his Point Tavern for 20 days launched the prize back in February saying that to bring an art prize together takes effort and co-ordination and on behalf of the community he thanked me, and then Neil stated: "I now formally launch the Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize" to the acclaim of those present.
Kim Hanson the editor of the then Chronicle the local monthly 8 page newsheet created the remarkable entry form with several bleached photographs illustrating the Carlisle coach.
Basil Sellers has supported my benevolent mission activities for several decades which was initiated when we met in 1988 at the Bi-Centennial Cricket Dinner in Sydney. Basil Sellers was the host of the table in which I was assigned as the Australian Cricket Team chaplain and our philosophies in Christian service fitted hand in glove.
Since that time Basil Sellers has supported three Athlete Respite facilities for Australian Institute of Sport athletes (Moruya, Tweed Heads and Laguna Quays), along with two Art facilities, Basil Sellers Art Centre in Moruya and the Basil Sellers Tweed Art Studio.
He has untiringly supported the Cricket ministry, Country Town Tours of coaches and athletes as role models, Tourism, the young writers program and more recently assisted with the establishment of the respite ministry at Laguna Quays.
The Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite ministry project was opened in 2011 and has enjoyed many missionary visits to the cottage for rest and quiet, indeed many missionaries home on furlough have utilised it. Missionaries seeking a rest and respite may contact us email@example.com
He has recently given additional monies to make the cottage more comfortable for missionary visits along with stage 2 of the concrete drive way in wet weather conditions.
Over these past two years my wife Delma and I have established many links in this quite coastal hollow which encompasses Laguna Quays, Midge Point and Bloomsbury, an area known as the Carlisle Coast, on Repulse Bay.
Last November I discussed this 'art prize' for this small populated area with a number of people and the idea took root and I felt confident to raise the prospect with Basil Sellers, who endorsed the project in January.
The next step was to distribute a paper on the art prize to local stake holders which included Neil and Kaye Brooks of The Point Tavern who are hosting the art prize, Sean and Sue Spencer our respite co-ordinators and Inas Jackson from the Midge Point Art Group.
"The Point Tavern - Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize" launch was well promoted in the community. After this art prize we're looking at handing it over to a local committee for the future.
Well-Being Australia designs community activities as 'expense neutral'. There is no fee to enter the art prize, there are no expenses to recoup. They are based on good-will and community participation to enhance community well-being. We've developed good will across the board in this community so that when this project came up, there were people on board "in community".
Saturday will also see the launch of the new 'on-line" local newssheet www.mpbnews.org the Midge Point – Bloomsbury – News and Mews.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html