A reluctant farewell to the Bendigo community

In Dear Bendigo (Bendigo Advertiser, Saturday December 22) Lauren Mitchell touched an exposed nerve for me when she acknowledged that a side effect of loving is scarring. 

After living in Bendigo for two years my (planned) departure is nigh and scars will be caused by the burns of having to say goodbye to the wonderful people and friends I have grown to love and whom I will miss very much. I know the burns will heal and thankfully the scars will always be a reminder of warmth and welcome and the fondness I will harbour for Bendigo.

They will also remind me of the Bendigo energy and how everything is embraced with gusto.

 Whether it be the celebration of this Christmas season, Chinese dragons, writers’ festivals, its history, planning a new hospital or establishing a new choir that I am privileged to be involved in.

One scar is beginning to weep though. It is the evidence of an overt “not in my backyard” mentality. 

It may be demonstrated when four people out of five said they were not concerned about increased ice usage in Bendigo because it did not affect them, (The Advertiser,  December 22, Word on the Street) 

Earlier last week another newspaper reported that people in Toolleen agreed that wind energy was needed, but not on their hill. 

The caring and giving we are reminded about in the festive season is not all tinsel and wrapped gifts.

Sometimes giving means giving up something that we think we need. These observations remind me that Christmas is a time to think about how we express and act on the multiple issues concerning social responsibility, human interdependence and community sharing.

 Things that secure happiness and preserve future happiness in our world. 

I hope to do my part in healing the weeping scar by my own sense of responsibility for the health and wellbeing of others in my new community.  I will do my best. Meantime, thank you to all my Bendigo friends. It is indeed a wonderful city.

Christine Haddrick 

Lockwood (for now)

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