Pinjarra Rotarians, Peta and John Tuckey, hosted a fund-raising evening at their home on Thursday 30th of January. The event was held instead of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra's regular meeting to support the Club's fundraising effort to benefit the Rotary Australia Bushfire Relief Appeals.
Club President Vince Costantino welcomed sixty Rotarians, with their partners and other guests on a very pleasant evening to the Tuckey home, overlooking the Murray River.
Acting Song-master Adrian Fawcett chose the only song he could think of that everyone present might know; "Row, Row,Row, your Boat" which was sung with gusto by everyone to open proceedings.
President Vince reminded the group that this event, while it would be full of fun, frivolity, good humour, and great fellowship, is being held to raise funds which will be donated to the Rotary Australia Bushfire Relief Appeals. Individual donations may be made through the following link:
The gathering was informed of the generosity of individuals who had provided the food to be consumed this evening, and items to be raffled or auctioned following the evening meal.  I make particular mention of the lasagna and quiche dishes prepared by Tony Fucili which, on learning the reason for our event this evening, donated the food.
There was a warning too that Club Sergeant Joe Bryant was gathering information about any misdemeanors (imagined or otherwise). All will be revealed a little later when he presides over a "fining session".
A section of the crowd enjoying good company and conversation
A wonderful buffet table was straining under the weight of food generously provided by a number of families. Meals of lasagne, quiche, salads with crusty bread were avidly consumed, and it must be said that even after some had returned to the buffet for a second helping, there was still food available.
Following the meal, President Vince roamed the room showing off the first of many items to be auctioned. "This is a bottle of Hardy's 'William Hardy Shiraz', a 2014 vintage. It was harvested from the south side of the hill at 4.30am, and taken to the crushing plant by Georhe and Harry. They were booked for speeding on their way there. It is the ONLY bottle remaining (here at the Tuckey's residence), so get ready for the auction!"
Auctioneer Geoff McLarty then started the auction process.
Auctioneer Geoff McLarty (centre), with assistants Mervyn Williams (left) and Vince Costantino (right)
The wine was sold after a competitive bidding process which as a precurser of what was to follow.
Composite stone cutting/shopping/serving boards (donated for the evening by TDR Stone www.tdrstonetops ) proved to be very popular with much spirited bidding before Geoff declared each of the four boards sold. Other items auctioned included a spectacular photo canvas, depicting a bushfire scene, donated by Bev Bodycoat; an embroidered table runner featuring a strelitzia (bird of paradise) flower which was made by Nancy Costantino; a 1 kilogram piece of Angus Corned Silverside, donated by Mervyn Williams; 1 litre of "Three Corner Olives" olive oil and 3 kilograms of passionfruit from Miles Hewitt; and bottles of wine donated by John Winter. The Club extends its thanks to these donors for their generosity.
An additional item placed into the auction at the last minute was a "french bread loaf", especially blessed by Rotarian Reverend James Tabor which was the subject of an enthusiactic bidding war.
Some lucky bidders received a bonus Panulirus cygnus which was provided by an intripid fisherman.
A"heads and tails" game was conducted. This is a very simple game where everyone stands up and either put their hands on their heads or their 'tail', or "one hand on head and tail ...Two coins are tossed, and if they land with two heads, everyone with their hands on their heads are "winners",  and everyone else must sit down. Similarly, if it is two tails, (or a head and a tail) everyone with their hands on their tail (or a head and a tail) are winners. Margaret McCormack generously donated the bottle of wine that was her prize back so that it could be auctioned.
A raffle draw overseen by Rotarian Bob de Bilj, assisted by Nancy Costantino was very well supported with several books of tickets snapped up by the crowd.
The Club's master of disciplinary matters, Sergeant Joe Bryant took centre stage, and with the assistance of David Caldwell, his corporal, fined all and sundry for their misdemeanors. John Tuckey in particular was singled out for "having misplaced his beer in his own home". An intrepid fisherman was fined for being in possession of 8 stiches in a finger due to "a filleting knife". The raffle winners were fined for having had the temerity to actually win the raffles. And, there were other misdemeanors identified for which the miscreants duly paid for the error of their ways.
President Vince thanked all who had attended, Peta and John Tuckey for providing their home as a venue for tonight's event, and especially all the donors of food, auction items, and prizes, and particularly those who had dug deep into their pockets purchasing the items that were auctioned. He was pleased to announce that over $4,000 had been raised at the event.
The gathering closed in the traditional manner of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra, with a strong rendition of the Australian National Anthem.