PAGE 46 I LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE Are you getting married? Pick up your FREE copy of the BRAND NEW East Gippsland Wedding Planner today! Available at: Bairnsdale Advertiser - 65 Macleod Street, Bairnsdale Lakes Post & Printing - 505 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance Snowy River Mail - 122 Nicholson Street, Orbost Bruthen General Store Cann River Store Just Books - Bairnsdale Lamanna’s Authorised Newsagency - Lakes Entrance Lakes Entrance Newsagency Lords Newsagency - Sale Maffra Authorised Newsagency Mallacoota Newsagency Marlo General Store Metung Village Store Paynesville Newsagency Sale Authorised Newsagency Stows Newsagency - Bairnsdale Stratford Newsagency or online at www.eastgippslandweddingexpo.com.au Out Now PRINTING FREE PORT ALBERT YARRAM CENTRAL GIPPSLAND LOCH SPORT SALE MAFFRA STRATFORD BAIRNSDALE A strong sense of country community Maffra is an attractive and friendly rural town situated on the Macalister River with a strong sense of community. One of the biggest events on the Maffra calendar (if not the biggest) is the annual Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras. The idea was first conceived by a group of local businessmen in 1957 to raise money for the Maffra and district hospital. The event first took place on August 20, 1958, entrants voted for with a penny, the greatest fundraiser earning for themselves and a chaperone a trip interstate. Now, 61 years later, it is the longest running community event in the Wellington Shire and little has changed, with a focus of fundraising for local organisations and groups. The Rotary Club of Maffra took on the responsibility of running the annual event in 2010 and has continued to do so ever since. The event has evolved into a family fun day with face painting, animal petting nursery, carnival rides, music and a street parade along with food, drink and market stalls, all coming together to create a carnival-like atmosphere. Profits from the Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras are returned to community clubs and organisations each year when the Club makes their annual disbursements. Visit the Rotary Club of Maffra’s Mardi Gras webpage for further details. CAR LOVER’S DOMAIN Like many great ideas in Australia, the one to form the Gippsland Vehicle Collection (GVC) came about over a few beers. The Grand Prix Rally had travelled through Maffra for the third time in a row and the Maffra and District Car Club had organised a display of cars to line Johnson Street, which got a few men talking. “We were saying it was a shame that all the great cars on show would be pushed back into their sheds and not seen again,” GVC executive member, Peter Quennell, said. It wasn’t long before they decided they could create a motor museum to showcase all the interesting vehicles from throughout the region and beyond. It has since displayed almost 3000 vehicles, had almost 70,000 people through its doors and held 35 display days. A key feature of the GVC is that its exhibition isn’t static, but changes every four months in line with three different display themes each year. Enjoy the colour and vibrancy of Maffra. Ever-changing displays at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection keep the show fresh and exciting.