BY LAWRENCE MACHADO
A fun Christmas competition to lift the gloom of COVID-19 along a Kenthurst street has unearthed hidden talent while creating friendships. Humour is certainly not lacking on Park Rd with Jacqui McLachlan being the ‘self-nominated director of Fun & Community’ for the street’s first Great Letterbox Christmas Decorating Challenge in December.
The challenge was accepted with a more than a sleigh load of enthusiasm and the organisers saw decorated letterboxes popping up each morning. Warwick Ralph and his partner Chrissy Dukes, who live at No 11, took home the Overall Best on Street prize for their amazing Covid Man letterbox, the win being a big surprise to the grandparents of seven boys. Mr Ralph, a former architect and landscaper, used his old helmet – cracked when he fell and broke his collarbone while riding in the spectacular Himalayas – as the starting prop. “I looked around the garage for things to use and found other items, including the mask which I had used while dealing with asbestos,” Mr Ralph said.
“I rode across some of the Himalayan mountains five times but I think I am bit too old for that now. The landscape was spectacular but while riding, I also fell into a drain and cracked my ribs.”
His partner said she had first thought of creating a bumblebee. “We have been living here since 1986 and this was the first time something like this was organised,” Ms Duke said. “We are very happy as the win was unexpected but Warwick is very creative and a witty chap who is always doing wonderful things.”
Emese and Peter Hevesi-Nagy, who live in No 3, took home The Peoples’ Choice Award voted by the community households for their Aussie Teddy Bear creation.
Mrs McLachlan and her husband Rob moved into the street two years ago and soon formed the Park Rd Book Club.
“What started as a hopeful idea to bring the community together (in a hard year) ended up being a real success with over 25 letterboxes decorated in our nothrough collection of streets,” Mrs McLachlan said.
“We had a bit of fun and brought smiles to faces as each morning another colourful letterbox appeared.
“We organised a catch-up in the local park to acknowledge and reward the best on show and a perpetual trophy has been created.
Mrs McLachlan said the event will return bigger and better with some households already planning for the second edition.
“Some streets are renowned for their light displays, others for their house decorations and now we are hoping to be known for our letterbox decorations,” she said.
The connecting roads of Roughley and Hafey will be involved in the new edition, having been able to vote for the inaugural event.