The History of Manilla in the Pink

Pink Ribbon Month in Manilla. Image courtesy

Pink Ribbon Month in Manilla. Image by scottchan courtesy

Nine years ago, when Robyn, Belinda and Sarah from our council’s Manilla office hosted a Pink Ribbon breakfast, they had no idea how fundraising for Breast Cancer Research would take off in our little town.

The next year, they held it outdoors because it was a beautiful day. People responded amazingly, giving Robyn the idea to move it to her home, ‘Tandarra’, where husband Harry had set up a memorabilia museum. Morning tea became afternoon tea with lots of entertainments, music, raffles, charity auctions, stalls, exhibitions; and the whole thing became an institution.

Craig and Lucy at the grocery store became involved when their valued staff member, Jenny, was diagnosed with breast cancer. They decorated the shop, sold merchandise, held raffles and raised a massive amount for BCR.

Jenny helped me so much when I received my diagnosis. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and the honest answers she gave me while still having treatment herself. I am happy to say that she is well and working at the same store, although it changed hands when Craig and Lucy retired. It is, at this time, the only IGA store that decorates the shop, dresses staff in pink and raises money for cancer research. Maybe the rest will follow this shining example.

Other businesses in town got on board, and, for years, have spent this week in October decorated in pink. It is quite wonderful to go shopping and see, in almost every shop, staff dressed in pink shirts or aprons (men and women) and pink ribbons and mementos for sale on behalf of BCR.

Last year, the stakes were raised. A full month was dedicated to fundraising; the whole town going Pink for October. This year, we plan to do it again, only bigger and better.

Our Pink Ribbon afternoon tea, hosted by Robyn and Harry, will be held at ‘Tandarra’, Barraba Rd., Upper Manilla on 12th October, from 1pm. Entry $5. All money raised goes to BCR. I will be in my usual spot, selling raffle tickets. (Lots of prizes, drawn at 3pm.)

Of course, all this effort would be for nothing without the dedicated support of the Manilla citizens spending their time and hard-earned dollars, but Manilla is a town that punches far above its weight when it comes to giving. More than $30,000 dollars have been raised for BCR since that first morning tea and I am proud to belong to such a caring community.

Manilla in the Pink: the signature of a little town with a big, warm and very generous heart.

Cancer of the Mind

Light in the darkness of depression. Photo by Gualberto 107

Light in the darkness of depression. Photo by Gualberto 107/

Cancer of the mind. This is how I view depression. And what with the recent amazing events in parliament it will be wonderful if there aren’t a few of us suffering from it. Add to that the possibility that you’ve just had surgery, given birth or happen to be undergoing anti-cancer treatment and it becomes even more likely.

The latest research shows that the brain can continue to change throughout life; that our very thoughts can change it. Continual negative thinking can change the brain structure so that we spiral downward into depression. In contrast, thinking positive thoughts can rewire our brains to make us happy people. I thought I would share with you my tried and true formula to fight depression: cancer of the mind. I wrote this recipe for a very beautiful person who had come to feel that she was of no worth. She has a generous spirit and I know she won’t mind sharing.

Anne’s Recipe for Happiness

Requires large cupfuls of all ingredients.

  1. This ingredient is sealed and unavailable until the others have been perfected.

  2. Classical Music. Listen as much as possible. Beautiful music fills your head, leaving no room for negative thoughts. Combine with reading inspirational writings for a soothing, uplifting marinade.

  3. Time is precious. Spend it with Good Friends – people with happy, positive spirits. Ditch the negative ones. Time has a full-bodied flavour.

  4. Allow only positive thoughts so as not to attract dark entities. Think of those you love. Remember: Love thinks no evil. A powerful ingredient.

  5. Healthy nutrition for mind and body. Pursue a goal or interest. Start small and persevere. You will be amazed at what you can achieve. Find out if you have food allergies or intolerances. The gain far outweighs the loss of what you give up.

  6. A good dash of Sense of Humour – essential for lightness. You will find it everywhere if you look for it.

  7. Everywhere God shows his hand in the Beauty he has created. Recognise and appreciate this fabulous ingredient in the world around us. It will lift your spirits every time, adding texture to the mix.

  8. Count your blessings. You do have them and it is good to remind yourself of these positives. Equivalent to mixing the other ingredients – so mix well!

  9. Now the first ingredient has matured and you can add a precious commodity – the delicate flavour of Patience.

  10. Bake this recipe by meditating. Each time, tell yourself one positive thing, over and over.

  11. Finally, to remove from the oven, perfectly done: Pray whenever you think of it, anywhere, any time because miracles do happen. You are a child of God. You were bought with a Price. Recognise your Worth.

    Prepared with love by Anne Rouen.