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When stumps were drawn mid-afternoon last Saturday, one lonely tree was left, out of a total of 531 trees that were up for sale over two-and-a half weekends at the club. While we sold out our first shipment of trees early Sunday afternoon on the first weekend of sales, turnover of our second shipment of trees the following weekend was slower, perhaps a sign of folk tightening their belts and more local competition as well as poor weather and an accident on Bridge St, meaning that with leftover stock, a third trip to pick up more trees for the final weekend was unnecessary. This may have been of some disappointment to the Woodend Bakery, who would have enjoyed the turnover trying to keep up with the voracious appetites of four U14 players – Ben, Kyle, Stefan and Ollie – who showed great club spirit in joining us in the convoy heading out early one Friday morning to pick up 280 trees.

While the final profit did not approach the incredible result of 2022, it was the fourth highest we have recorded, despite expenses incurred by having to hire trucks over the two Fridays to pick up and deliver trees. A wonderful result, achieved only because of the willingness of our volunteers to give up their time to pick up trees, participate in sales, and use their own vehicles and trailers to deliver them to our clients. First up, a big thanks to Alan Steel for organizing the collection and delivery of trees, including a lot of time getting our newly acquired trailer roadworthy for the task, and for being at the club for every day of the sales!  A special mention to Roger Iacobucci and Russell Dunn for making available their staff members to help with collecting the trees, and rolling up the sleeves themselves….and then there was our small army of wonderful helpers – Wise, Matt, Rod, Ben H., Stefan, Kyle, Ollie, Richard, Sylvia, Tim, Xavier N., Jezza, Nadine, Tor, Aksel, Nilufer, Russ, Cath, Claire, Marika, Mal, Ange, Xavier K., Graeme, Bennie, Rhys, Monty, Rob, Johnny, Ari, Eli, Harvey, Ben M., and Wati. Nourishment in the form of sausage rolls and mince pies was generously provided by Ange Southwood, Marion Steel supplied us with scones, cream and jam, and Xavier K. home-made gingerbread from his mum! My apologies for any names missed…it was a bit hard to keep up at times. A great way for the club to finish 2023, ensuring financial stability as we head towards the 2024 rugby season.


Tim Adams, President