Hark! the herald angels sing. So, too, will the members of the Guyra Multi Purpose Service (MPS) Hospital Auxiliary.
They’re holding their annual Carols by Candlelight at the hospital on Tuesday, December 11.
“It’s a lovely family and community get-together,” Hospital Auxiliary president Patricia Fields said.
The event starts at 7pm, but people arrive from 6.15 for the sausage sizzle.
The Auxiliary members will sing traditional Christmas carols, including O Come, All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Parents have picnics, kids dance to the music, and patients and residents are wheeled out.
Members of the Armidale City Band – the oldest continuous running brass band in the state, if not the country – play music.
“They never let us down,” Mrs Fields said. “They’re always there, and the music’s absolutely lovely. It makes you want to get up, and dance and sing. Kids can dance to anything, and I think Australians all like singing!”
Representatives from the Christian churches attend; the Reverend Mark Evers, of St James’ Anglican Church, usually takes the commentary, and reads from the Bible.
And, of course, Santa Claus will be there.
Afterwards, tea, coffee, and Christmas cake, are served.
The event is also a fundraiser for the Hospital Auxiliary.
“It’s a very good little volunteer organization that helps to make life more bearable for those who aren’t as well as others,” Mrs Fields said.
“The MPS is a great co-operative thing. The staff and doctors are very special; everybody works for the patients and residents’ quality of life and treatment.”
The sausage sizzle raises funds to buy equipment. Often, they’re incidentals that aren’t in Hunter New England Health’s prospectus – but that make life more comfortable and happier, such as window blinds, televisions, and lifters for patients with limited mobility.
“We get wishlists from hospitals and doctors so that we know what’s needed,” Mrs Fields said.
“We do things like refurbish the palliative care rooms to make them more pleasant for the families.”
Their next project is to do up the area between MPS and Kolora Aged Care, which is getting shabby.
“We’d like to make it more pleasant for families to come and visit, because some days it’s much nicer to be out in the fresh air than in the lounge,” Mrs Fields said.
The support from businesses in town was fantastic, Mrs Fields said.
C.T. Electric supplies microphones and electrical equipment, while there’s much co-operation from the butcher, the IGA, and anybody who can help.
“Guyra is a town of volunteers,” Mrs Fields said. “With Rotary, Lions, and all the others, we’re lucky that we have such a responsive community.”
The Hospital Auxiliary meets on the first Wednesday of every month, at 2pm, at the MPS.