As I visit Summerland on this occasion it is with a heavy heart as I have left behind a country with horrendous bush fires in four states that as of this time have killed eight people and destroyed over 1,000 houses.
It will be a sad festive season and New Year in most of Australia.
The devastation that can be caused by fires is of course well known by the residents of Summerland.
Having only arrived on Dec. 21, however, I am again witnessing a joyous and proud community that is focused on supporting each other.
The generosity of the people of Summerland with so many organizations having events and raising money to help those who are less fortunate than themselves at this time of year is amazing.
I am also taken by snowflakes and banners that adorn the streets and in particular the effort that has been taken by so many households to decorate their homes with lights and other decorations for the enjoyment of the rest of the community and visitors like myself is truly very special.
Congratulations to the council and residents of this wonderful town for adding some joy and happiness to what otherwise could have been for me a rather sad time
Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy 2020 to you all.
Geoffrey D. Askew
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