It was great to see such a large attendance at our staff Xmas lunch at Cofield’s winery on the 14/12. The day provided me with some reflection on how UMFC has progressed over the years. I was approached by Max Cofield the owner of Cofield Winery and it was a pleasure to see him after many years. Max and his wife Karen were foster parents with the agency when I joined in 1984. We reminisced on some old times ( I recalled transporting a young person from Corryong to their home, Max remembered a rough red we shared ). They stopped fostering a short time later when Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was saddened to learn of her passing last year. Max looked the same and he kindly said the same to me, clearly failing eyesight is something we have in common. Inside at the lunch I was delighted to hand out 10 year certificates of service to a number of staff and introduce two new Board members, Deb Bender and Thomas Crumpton. This also allowed me to acknowledge our longest serving Board member who retired a year ago with Life membership, Lester Sawyer. I made the point to Thomas he was replacing someone with 33 years service!
Over lunch Lester shared some experiences with Deb and Thomas and told the story of how the night of the AGM when he was awarded Life membership he happened to mention it in conversation which was overheard by the restaurant staff. The staff person asked Lester which organisation he was talking about and when told said, he knew about UMFC as he had been fostered with one of our foster families. He spoke very positively about the experience.
The point I’m laboriously making is UMFC after 37 years of existence has a history with generations of great stories. Our proud record has been achieved by many good people over a long time and continues with outstanding people today. This year has been another full on busy time with multiple challenges and opportunities which we have faced with energy and conviction. I have no doubt that 2018 will be the same. So, to all staff and volunteers thanks for all the hard work and commitment, I hope you receive the acknowledgment you deserve and the satisfaction of helping others. Have a safe and Merry Christmas and New Year.