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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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13 August, 2021

Longreachers meet in Brisbane

Past and present members of the Longreach community met in the capital for lunch.

By Michael R Williams

Dennis Cook, Jenny-Lee Rolliinson (née Tooker), and Janette Cook (née Besse), enjoying a beer and having a laugh. PHOTOS: Supplied

OLD and young may not have a lot in common, but, last Thursday at the Caxton Street Hotel, the attendees of a recent reunion lunch had one thing in common — Longreach.  

Longreachers have been meeting in Brisbane for several decades now, but organiser Jenny Haddrell said this year was special as it saw newer and younger faces.  

“It all looks well for the future when young people start taking an interest in reunions,” she said.  

Organised by Longreach Regional Council and Community Facebook group admin Glennis Ford and the Longreach RSL, attendees refreshed themselves with a can of Longreach Larger.  

Ms Haddrell said it was not only a great beverage but a good memento of the event.  

At the event, attendees sat down to a two-course meal and shared stories. 

“We tell stories and whether those stories are true or not, nobody knows and nobody cares,” Ms Haddrell said. 

Over 90 people attended, a step down from 2019s 120, but Ms Haddrell said organisers were pleased with the turnout. 
“In this kind of environment [with COVID-19] to have over 90 was fantastic,” she said.  

Attendees were not all Brisbane residents, Ms Haddrell said people had come from all over the state, including the Tanks family who still resides in Longreach.  

“It was really sad [however] we had lots of interactions with folks from people from [other states] saying they wish they were here,” she said. 

Unfortunately, though there is an influx of newer faces many members have aged to the point where attending is difficult.  

“They still wish to hear what is going on and sent their regards to the attendees,” Ms Haddrell said. 

“It’s actually a lovely way of keeping in contact.”  

Ms Haddrell said it was interesting people at the reunion talk about home. 

“When they talked about home, they talked about Longreach,” she said. 

“People said they would take a trip home or take the family home or the last time they were at home. 

“It’s that very special and perhaps it’s consistent with all country towns – it seems to be something about Longreach. 

“I’ve always said once you’ve crossed the Thomson, you always have to go back — there’s a special camaraderie when you get a group of people like that.” 

Ms Haddrell said they even broke down barriers.  

“It doesn’t matter what work you did in your life, how much money you had when you lived in Longreach, whether you lived in the country, whether you lived in the town,” she said.  

“Suddenly, you come together as a group of folk from Longreach and those barriers don’t matter.” 

Ms Haddrell said she hopes for the reunion to continue to be an annual event, and for folk in Longreach to put it on their calendars to come down and be a part of it. 

“There’s no better place in the world but Longreach.”  

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