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Rotary Carols provides a surprise for Greg Butcher

Above: Mr Gulaptis surprises Greg with his Community Service Award from the NSW Government. Image: Contributed
Lynne Mowbray This year’s Grafton Midday Rotary ‘Carols by Candlelight’ change of venue from Market Square to Alumy Creek reserve appears to have paid off, with organisers happy with the success of Saturday night’s event. Clarence Valley Orchestra and Chorus director Greg Butcher said that the change of venue was a good move. “Normally we get around 250 people attending the carols at Market Square compared to around 1000 at this year’s event at Alumy Creek,” Mr Butcher said. “The event has been 12 months in the planning and went off without too many dramas. “We’re just glad that the rain held off,” he said. One part of the evening that Mr Butcher had not planned on however, was the surprise bestowed upon him by Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. In front of the huge crowd attending, Mr Gulaptis awarded Mr Butcher with a NSW Government Premier’s Award for Service to the Community. “That was a total surprise,” said Mr Butcher. “I’d like to thank Chris [Gulaptis] for nominating me and for the recognition of the Clarence Valley Orchestra and chorus for the valuable work they do in the community. “I’d like to thank the community for their support and look forward to doing it all again next year,” he said. Greg has encouraged our local musicians In a media release issued following the concert, Mr Gulaptis said the Clarence Valley is home to some pretty extraordinary people and one of them is Grafton’s Greg Butcher. “While Greg’s profession is a hearing specialist he is also a passionate professional musician with over 30 years of experience in types of bands. He is a conductor, tutor, artistic director and Founder of the Clarence Valley Orchestra and Choir. “It was founded on the basis of providing the community with a large musical flagship for the presentation of significant community events and concerts and to showcase the talent we have in the Clarence Valley. “He has encouraged our local musicians both young and old to come out and shine in the Clarence Valley with wonderful musical extravaganzas like the Afternoon at the Proms, which draws capacity crowds each year with proceeds funnelled back into the community. “Greg’s dedication to the arts has contributed enormously to the community’s cultural development. “We are very fortunate in the Clarence Valley to have someone as eminently qualified as Greg to give us this wonderful gift of beautiful music,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Despite the weather, a large crowd attended the Grafton Midday Rotary ‘Carols by Candlelight’ at Alumy Creek reserve. Image: Tearn Mazzitelli.
The crowd was entertained by dancers from Clarence River Dance Academy as well as many other performers. Image: Tearn Mazzitelli.