Comprising a friendly bunch of writers, singers, musicians and other entertainers, The North Pine Bush Poets actively shares their love of poetry to the wider community. However recent COVID-19 restrictions meant the group faced pressures to maintain membership numbers during a turbulent few years.
“Our group has been in action since 1997 and was severely affected by COVID. Those of our members who are elderly feared any social outings forcing the club to cancel many events during this time,” said Howard Kennedy, secretary of The North Pine Bush Poets Group.
In a double-blow during this time, the group was also required to leave its well-known home venue. Rather than give into these pressures and in the true spirit of a bush survivor, The North Pine Bush Poets applied for a grant to revive itself.
“Successfully obtaining a grant from Community Bank Samford has allowed us to promote our change of venue and has stimulated the club into developing plans to attract new membership,” Howard said.
“While we have our own funds, grants like this help to focus on what actions we need to take to smooth the transition to our new venue at Pine Rivers Men’s Shed.”
The North Pine Bush Poets Group has members who have won awards at the highest level, but also includes several emerging poets who are supported in finding their own voice.
“People admire the ability of our members to bring poetry alive through recitation and reading both original, modern and traditional works. Some of our members are in their eighties and they can still remember and perform poems of impressive lengths,” Howard said.
While entertaining the masses, the group is also well-versed in supporting others in the community. The North Pine Bush Poets recently raised $14,000 to help with drought relief for families in the Winton area; fittingly the home of Waltzing Matilda.
“In the past our members have helped out many charities through performance, creating awareness or by donations,” Howard said.
“Since receiving the grant we have been able to run school workshops, raise money for Legacy through our Tribute to the ANZACs performance and help out at various poetry events including the upcoming Ekka.”
Community Bank Samford is thrilled to support The North Pine Bush Poets as they enter their next stanza of educating and entertaining.