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Reunion a huge success

Wednesday, 27th April, 2011

A reunion which attracted more than 1,000 people to the city from all across Australia and took two years to prepare, was held successfully over the weekend.  The Great Broken Hill Reunion, which began last Thursday, has wrapped up and organisers couldn't be happier.   One of the organisers, Tony Vance, said the Reunion had been fantastic. A reunion which attracted more than 1,000 people to the city from all across Australia and took two years to prepare, was held successfully over the weekend. The Great Broken Hill Reunion, which began last Thursday, has wrapped up and organisers couldn't be happier. One of the organisers, Tony Vance, said the Reunion had been fantastic. "It is estimated that around 1,000 people came to the city," Mr Vance said.

A reunion which attracted more than 1,000 people to the city from all across Australia and took two years to prepare, was held successfully over the weekend.

The Great Broken Hill Reunion, which began last Thursday, has wrapped up and organisers couldn't be happier. 

One of the organisers, Tony Vance, said the Reunion had been fantastic. "It is estimated that around 1,000 people came to the city," Mr Vance said.

The reunion was aimed at those who "came out of the 1960's era," according to the ex-local, who lives in Adelaide.

Mr Vance came up with the idea for a reunion when he was emailed about a reunion for ex-Broken Hill locals held in Coolangatta.

The idea started to gain momentum at a lunch Mr Vance had with ex-locals Jim Niemann and Ron Hemple.

'"We talked about it, and we thought 'why not have a reunion in Broken Hill where it all started?'" 

Preparation for thereunion began in January 2009.

A host of activities were planned for the five day reunion, including a 60's cabaret and a picnic in Sturt Park. 

Mr Vance said a "meet and greet" at the Musician's Club on Thursday night attracted about 280 people.

He said the entertainment was fantastic, "as it was the whole reunion". 

On Friday the Ron Serich Memorial Golf Tournament was held at the Broken Hill Golf and Country Club. 

Mr Vance said $1000 raised from the tournament was donated to the junior football development in the city.

The 60's cabaret was held on Saturday night, with around 300 people in attendance. Mr Vance said it was "something to remember".

He said the entertainment was once again "very good" and the night didn't finish until 1.30am Sunday.

On Sunday a picnic in Sturt Park was held and Mr Vance said while he wasn't good at counting people, he knew there was "a heck of a lot of people right throughout the park".

That night Club Legion held a "Back to the 60's Reunion", with memorabilia from the old department store Benjamin's. 

"Club Legion was packed," Mr Vance said. Monday morning a breakfast was held at the Royal Exchange, which Mr Vance said was full of people from Sydney,Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs, Queensland and Tasmania.

He also said the exhibition at the Trades Hall had attracted "hundreds and hundreds" of people.

"Trades Hall has been jammed packed, Jenny Camilleri was thrilled to bits," Mr Vance said. 

Mr Vance said he was indebted to the sponsors of the events and everyone who helped make the event possible.

He said lots of people wanted to know when the next reunion would be. 

"There could be something down the track ... everyone enjoyed it," Mr Vance said.

"Even locals came up and said it was terrific. "Maybe (we will organise something) in two years or maybe there will be something small next year.

"We would definitely do it again." Mr Vance said seeing people reuniting after 50 years was great to see.

He said people were sad to see the reunion end. 

"It left us a bit empty ... thinking about heading home," he said. Mr Vance said for a lot of the ex-locals it was the first visit they had in a long while.

The funds raised from the reunion will go towards the Broken Hill Family History Group for a new office.

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