KEEP OUR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
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The Glenelg Shire Council have this year released a statement regarding the lighting of the Norfolk Pine trees along Bentinck Street this christmas.
This has disappointed the townspeople, ending a 69 year tradition of lighting up the Norfolk Pines prior to Christmas.
A number of comments have described the 'disgust' and 'disappointment' in the council's decision to cease the lighting up of the trees this Christmas.
The council spokesperson (as mentioned below in the Portland Observer article), have stated high costs are the reason they have decided to not install the lights along Bentinck St this year.
Sign the petition addressed to our Mayor Cr. Anita Rank, to show her as a community just how important this is to our town and for her, along with the councillors and council staff to reconsider the decision and light up our trees for Christmas like every other year.
*The article in the Portland Observer, Friday, 10th November 2018.
THERE will be no Christmas lights on Portland’s famous Norfolk pines this year.
The giant Christmas star that was unveiled last year, to much delight, will stay in storage this Christmas.
The Norfolk pine lights, which can seen for miles, will not be lit up for community enjoyment because the Glenelg Shire Council deemed expensive. the exercise too In previous years the council has installed more than 700 metres of lights along Bentinck St, highlighted last year by the introduction of a memorable threedimensional star on top of a Norfolk pines opposite the Gordon Hotel.
A Glenelg Shire Council spokesperson said while the council has ordered new baubles, to be installed on CBD roundabouts, it will not be reinstating the Norfolk pine lights and star.
“Increasing costs and damaged lights during installation and removal have made the lighting plan too exorbitant to continue,” the council spokesperson The decision has left several prominent Portland business operators bewildered. Gordon Hotel co-owner Sam Lewis, whose patrons enjoyed looked upon the Norfolk tree during the Christmas period, was surprised that the tree would not be lit up and said he was disappointed. “I think it’s good for any town to have a main feature at Christmas time, and it’d be good if the town keeps a Christmas tree,” Mr Lewis said.
“I would have thought it would be the easiest option - to put lights up in already established trees.”
Likewise, Harbour Lights Snack Bar owner Liz Carter said she would be disappointed with the council if there was nothing done to make Bentinck St festive during the Christmas period. “As for the lights and the star, I really don’t know. I am not sure what impact the council decision not to reinstate them will have on business, but I will have a clearer idea after Christmas,” she said. Pauline Humphries of Pauline’s Absolutely Fabulous Accessories said she was saddened by the news.
“I’m disappointed they won’t be there this year,” Ms Humphries said. “It’s part of the Christmas celebrations… all the other towns do it.”
Portland Tourist Association president Dennis Carr said he was “very disappointed” by the council’s decision not to reinstate the Norfolk pine lights and star, but also offered a solution.
“They definitely are a highlight at Christmas,” he said. “I can understand the council’s decision regarding costs, but there may be another avenue to explore.
“It may be possible for a company or a group in Portland to sponsor the lights … I don’t know but it is something that should be considered.” Professional photographer Darryl Cram said he has photographed the lights over the past couple of years, and believes the Christmas lights “are great for the town.”
“It adds to the atmosphere of Christmas in Portland,” Mr Cram said. Mr Cram said the lights were also one of the many highlights of community celebrations of New Year’s Eve on the adjoining Bentinck St lawns.
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