Christmas in July – Redlands style


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Several months ago the Committee of the Redlands Branch (SE QLD) decided to hold a Christmas in July – in Armidale NSW!

We decided that the cool weather would invigorate us; after all, winter appeared to have forgotten SE Queensland, daytime temps were still 25-26deg!

Because we were travelling interstate, we sent invitations to all Ulyssians in the Northern Tablelands area – including Armidale, Glen Innes, Guyra and Tamworth, inviting them to join us. Sorry Inverell, next year?

The venue was the Royal Hotel in Armidale, the hotel is owned by fellow Ulyssian Alan Piddington #21459 and the manager, Nardie Pollock was extremely accommodating. The numbers attending were not finalised until the actual day and she calmly accepted all the changes and requests I gave her! This included providing a laptop and projector for dash cam videos, a Christmas tree and decorations! Very helpful!

The Redlands Branch members spread themselves all over the country on their journey to Armidale. Depending on the amount of time they were off work, some took three days down and back, others three and some just the two days. A lot of beautiful country in NSW and our members saw a lot of it! Some spent their first night in Grafton, one group in in Coffs Harbour all via roundabout routes and some of us travelled down on Saturday and back again Sunday!


The meal was a traditional Christmas dinner and huge, the desserts even bigger! The venue provided lots of opportunities to talk and to share tall stories.

Yep, it was a tad cool in places, with the morning temperature in Armidale being – 6deg! We were forewarned though and had lots of winter woollies in the panniers.

All up, 53 people turned up on the night! There were attendees from Glen Innes, Tamworth, Northern Gateway, Grafton, Armidale and of course Redlands Branch.

The meal was a traditional Christmas dinner and huge, the desserts even bigger! The venue provided lots of opportunities to talk and to share tall stories. Ulyssians are a noisy lot when 30 conversations are taking place at once.

Santa even came in the form of NatCom member Allan Pratt #9186 – Santa forgot his outfit, but luckily a Tamworth Ulyssian found the hat along the way! Everyone present got into the spirit and giggles ensued as they sat on Santa’s knee waiting for their gift!

We played trivia, lucky chair and door prizes, and of course, we just talked.

Already the request has come in to hold the event again next year and I am sure we will be happy to oblige. Looking forward to more of you joining us in July 2018 – or it is Tamworth’s turn to host?

Just remember to bring your winter woollies!

Savaugn Pratt #9186

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