Operation Friendship travellers shown Warwick hospitality
DANISH visitors were treated to a good old Aussie barbeque, hosted by the Warwick Lions Club, last Wednesday evening during their stay in Warwick.
Jonna Gronver and Steen Moller Jensen are participants in the Operation Friendship program which is an initiative of the Lions Club worldwide.
Members of the Lions Club of Ry and Himmelbjerget, the couple jumped at the opportunity to experience Australia, and stay with five different Lions families across the country. Warwick Lions Club Operation Friendship chairman Con Lo Giudice and wife Santina opened their home to the Danes for over a week and were proud to show them all our city's highlights.
Mrs Gronver said the hospitality they received was top of the range. Being from a township with a population of 6000 and serving as mayor for five years and a member of the Danish parliament in the nineties she was amazed by how many facilities a town the size of Warwick has to offer, .
"We have had so many varied experiences during our stay in Warwick and have found the community so friendly," she said.
"I am very surprised at the number of schools and sporting facilities in the town and the number of events held here. Even the landscape is so diverse and changes so rapidly."
Warwick Lions Club members escorted the Danes to as many of the area's local tourist attractions as possible during their stay, including the Stanthorpe wineries, Glengallan Homestead, Morgan Park Raceway, Lyndhurst Stud, Queen Mary Falls and the Goomburra Valley, along with a trip to the famous Warwick Rodeo.
Mrs Gronver said it was the first time they had ever been to a rodeo and found the experience to be enlightening.
"We loved the atmosphere, but found it a bit confusing,"
she said. "By the time I got my camera out to take a picture the riders had already fallen off."
In general the couple agreed they loved Australia and said Australians have a very similar sense of humour to the Danes, but remarked how much more sociable we are.
Mrs Gronver said this was probably due to our warmer climate, as it is so cold in Denmark and people tend to only go out when they have to.
The barbeque also served another purpose, with Con Lo Giudice's daughter Rosie Corney being presented with a $200 cheque from the Lions Club to be donated to the First Voice Centre.
Mrs Corney was very appreciative for the donation as her son Will was diagnosed with a hearing problem at the age of nine months and the Hear and Say organization has been essential for Will's progress over the last 12 months.
Mrs Corney said as the organization is not for profit and the cost for one child's therapy per year is $10,000, she felt it was her duty to assist in fundraising.
"Will has progressed in leaps and bounds since visiting the First Voice Centre in Brisbane," she said.
"So far I have raised $2500 for the cause and am very thankful for the Lion's Club contribution."