Faith shown in region's future

THE success of Gympie's second Mayoral Prayer Breakfast yesterday has organiser Jill Crampton and her helpers already planning for next year's event and how they can surpass the 2008.

About 570 people from a wide cross section of the Gympie Regional Council community paid to attend the event and they were joined by about 60 James Nash students and about a dozen TAFE students who provided the table service.

Held at The Pavilion, this year's second breakfast grew on the outstanding success of the inaugural event and had people of all ages joining together in a display of community and Christian beliefs.

Guest speaker, former politician Bruce Baird, who retired after nine years in federal politics at the last election, following about 12 years in the New South Wales parliament where he served in a number of ministerial portfolios including transport, tourism and was the minister for the successful Sydney Olympic Games bid and subsequent running.

Mr Baird has now taken on a number of roles in high profile organisations dealing with the under privileged and refugees.

He spoke of his early life as a trade commissioner and his gradual shift into politics as well as his return to his Christian beliefs and reconciliation with his father before his death, giving a number of colourful and humorous examples of his travel through life to his present position.

His story being one of how he leads life.

Gold Coast-based tenor Lachlan Baker again provided the entertainment, between prayers and readings, enthralling the gathering, chaired by Bill Thorburn, with his superb voice.

Mrs Crampton yesterday said planning and refining procedures for next year's Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, to be held on the last Wednesday in February, was already under way.

She said the event had proved a great celebration of a new era in Gympie local government and the community as a united force.