Monday, March 05, 2007

Mardi Gras Messages - leave your thoughts here.

The lifesavers were a definite stand out in this year's Mardi Gras Parade. If you participated or were on the sidelines cheering - what was the one Mardi gras moment you will remeber forever. Leave your thoughts by clicking the 'comments' section below. To read all the comments, click on the date stamp below.
On behalf of SLSA I would like to thank everyone for the joyous and respectful way in which you helped celebrated our ‘pride’ in Saturday’s parade.
The reaction from spectators, friends and colleagues with regards to our float was amazing, and thanks to everyone, surf lifesaving is now perceived by many as being a modern, progressive, diverse and tolerant organisation.
Angela, thank you especially for the way in which you pulled together the routine and float and the continual respect and admiration you showed for surf lifesaving, whilst at the same time keeping that delicate balance between showmanship, cheekiness, fun and respect. I know it would have been very hard balance to achieve but you did it so well.
Our National Director of Lifesaving was there before the parade soaking it all in whilst watching our preparations. He admired the spirit and pride that was evident as we waited so excitedly for our “moment in the sun”.
Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of history last Saturday night. The surf lifesaving movement in Australia shone as we celebrated our way up Oxford Street, and in turn so did each and everyone one of us, leaving a lasting legacy for the next 100 years and beyond.
Marketing & Corporate Relations Manager
Surf Life Saving Australia


Don Bemrose said...

Hi Guys,

I wanted to write and personally thank all of you for making the 1st
ever Life Saving Float at Mardi Gras a HUGE success. I spoke with a lot of friends and they all agreed that our float was the best along with the Kylie float. A big congratulations and thanks to all on the committee that have given so much of their time and energy to make it happen. To friends and family who helped out on any task to make this project phenomenal, thank you!

It is one of the highlights of my life and I wanted to say that each of you made this Qld boy feel very welcomed and accommodated. Here is to your continued success in all of you endeavours in and out of
Life Saving.


Cheers Don

Brenton Parry said...

I want to throw my thanks into the ring too. After
nearly not participating early on I'm so glad I did.
It was the most fun I've had in a very long time. My
flatmate could see the grin from the back of the Bobby
Goldsmith stand!

To Angela and all the organising committee, you've
done a fantastic job and you should all be extremely
proud. Everyone I've spoken too agreed that we were a
major highlight of the parade.

Brenton x

Callum Metcalf said...

I also have to write to say a BIG thank you too all those that put so
much time and effort into making Saturday night an evening I shall never
forget. The vibe from everyone taking part and the electricity from the
audience even put last night's thunderstorm to shame!! Thank you for
allowing me the chance to find the courage and do something I thought I
never would be able to.

Bronte has in recent years sidelined it self from joining forces with
its Life Saving neighbours. Saturday has made me see that this has to
change and I, for one, look forward to building a better rapport between
the Waverley clubs and beyond.


drewlambert said...

For me - the best part of this Mardi Gras was bringing the issue of gays and lesbian lifesavers to the attention of Surf Life Saving Australia.

Im sure it wasnt an easy subject for them to deal with - but I know the resultant kudos they have received from the world's media is well deserved. It's easy to be a gay or lesbian lifesaver in Sydney's eastern suburbs, but being an out lifesaver in other parts of Australia is tough. To all our brothers and sisters out there - stand up and be counted - Surf Life Saving Australia is on your side.

Anonymous said...

hi Guys,
I just wanted to thank you all for having me, a non surf life saver, in your float as one of your water boy. I had a very good time and i think it was perfect for my first mardi gras. Again thank you for that, for the organisation team, you did a great job....
and after that it is hard to imagine not being in the parade next year....on top of that it gave me extra motivation to try to join the Surf life saving.
so again thank you.

pascal - water boy

Ian Johnson - Gay Marketing 101 said...

From the other side of the world - many people know that the Aussie surfies did the right thing.

I never did more than get rescued when I was eight years old, but you boys and girls all make those of us that wish we were there last night just so very proud.


Kevin said...

What a memory to add to my Aussie adventure ...

I've had such a great 12-months here in Australia, with so many incredible experiences to take with me back to Canada. When I (eventually) return home, and friends / family ask me about highlights or stand-out memories, marching in the Mardi Gras parade with the surf lifesavers will definitely be at the top of my list.

For me, one of the moments in the parade I will remember most vividly will be when we were going through the dance routine (for the 5000th time ...), and suddenly realizing that e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e in the crowd around us was singing along to "I Need A Hero" ... not just because it was a catchy tune that fit the mood of our float, and not just because the crowd was really being entertained ... Rather, because Australians feel incredibly connected with the surf lifesavers and because they are such an AMAZING part of Aussie culture!

I've made a point throughout my Australian travels of searching high-and-low for what I consider to be truly "Aussie" (places, people, food ... Being part of this weekend's inaugural Mardi Gras Lifesavers float was just that - "Oy! Oy! Oy!"

Many thanks for Angela, the organizing committee and all of you for making this Canuck part of such an aweseome float!


Anonymous said...

To all the organisers of the Mardi Gras life savers float a huge thank you for allowing me to be part of the parade. Coming from Qld and joining late, I really appreciated the suport and encouragement from every-one. Last Saturday night will be one I will remember forever. I encourage all Gay Life Savers to join in and be counted it is just great fun!!
To all the Sydney guys just remember when we are back on the beach we will kick your butts!!

James Cameron
Sunshine Beach Qld

jad01 said...

Of all the years and events that I have been involved in surf lifesaving, being in the parade was certainly one that stands out from the rest.

The atmosphere was amazing and the response from the crowd was truly uplifting.
For me it was the first time that I could proudly and publicly stand as BOTH a surf lifesaver and a gay man.

There are way too many people to thank. From the committee who got the ball rolling, our fantiastic choreographers for showing us our moves, the support crew, our sponsors, Surf Lifesaving Australia for giving the thumbs up and of course the men and women who hopped, skipped, jumped and flag waved our way into the history books.

I am looking foward to seeing the DVD (hopefully released after I get back from Aussies in Perth).


Steve said...

Just wanted to say a massive congrats and thanks to everyone involved!
Westpac is so proud to be a long term partner of Surf Life Saving and ALL its members and I could not have hoped for a more fantastic float to be involved with.
I want to thank the organising committee, Angela and everyone else involved for making the float such a success and so much fun!
Personally, I had more fun on saturday night than I ever thought possible. The atmosphere, the crowd, the hype, the buzz - an unforgettable experience.

Continue doing the great work you all do in keeping our beaches safer!

Steve Clyne - Community Partnerships Manager - Westpac

Merrilee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shane said...

To Drew, Angela and the organising committee, simply, Thank You.

Nothing short of a wonderous and exhilarating feeling marching down the streets of Sydney representing for the first time in Mardi Gras history the presence of Surf Lifesaving Australia.
What an Honour!

Best wishes to all who participated, we should all feel very proud.

Shane Herbert

Ruairi said...

Hi all,

For me, marching in the Mardi Gras parade with other Surf Lifesavers was my most exciting experience ever and one that I that will never forget. It might sound a bit over the top... but it really is true.

The reaction of the crowd was amazing. I was hoping for a good reception from the spectators but I was gobsmacked with their reaction as we marched up Oxford st and down Flinders st. It made me so proud to be a surf lifesaver. Hopefully it will encourage more people, both gay and straight, to become surf lifesavers.

Thank you too to all the non-gay lifesavers that marched with us, their support was fantastic and it is very much appreciated.

Another positive outcome was meeting more gay surf lifesavers... all of whom I found to be very nice people that I never had the opportunity to meet before. There are a lot more gay surf lifesavers than I thought! I hope to see you all on the beaches.

Thank you all for making my 2007 Mardi Gras so memorable.

Ruairi xx

Dave Emery said...

For my first march I'm so glad I paraded with the best looking float. I couldn't imagine a better start.

We had an incredible team of dancers, supporters, choreographers and, of course, media wranglers.

Everyone's positive energy was clearly reflected in the crowd who were so proud to see an iconic Australian group embracing diversity.

And hearing people from eight to eighty, from Sydney and abroad, screaming "Happy Mardi Gras" proved that this celebration is really for everyone.



Graeme said...

All I can say is what a thrill, the roar of the crowd is still with me. I never thought I would march, but now I have - on our exceptionally well organised float - who knows??

Thanks to everyone who participated and the organising committee et al.

It makes me proud of who we are and what we have achieved. Well done!!


token tim said...

It's been 8 days and I'm still grinning. And gloating to anyone that will listen!!

First up, as a non-surf lifesaver, I'd like to express my gratitude to those involved for allowing me to shimmy up Oxford St with you guys. It was such a fantastic experience... words just can't express.

It was my first Mardi Gras March and my first Party too. So many people have said that your first march/party will stick in your mind forever... and what better way to complete that milestone in a pair of speedo's, surrounded by hotties and dancing to Bonnie Tyler!!!

Probably the best part of the whole experience was seeing my friends faces in the crowds as we marched past. Seeing them there screaming and supporting me was so amazing. I was lucky enough to spot my best friend battling the crowd just after we passed Taylor Square. I stopped dancing (sorry Ange!) and we had a massive hug, she told me she was so proud and I tole her I loved her. It still gives me chills!

So thanks again... to the organisers, Angela, my friends Karla and Merilee and the 3 other non surf lifesavers that danced alongside me!

It was lovely being a part of it all... and if you squint really hard you can see me on the cover of the Star Observer this week... That just topped it all off!


Anonymous said...

Hi guys the whole experience far exceeded my expectations, thankyou for making me feel so welcome and for being so inclusive even though my rehersal time was thin, thankyou to everyone who organised the event and having the vision to making it a national float. A personal thankyou to Drew, dude your rock. I had an awesome time see you all again soon take care hugs and kisses
Cipri Martinez

Emma said...

Aloha! Wow what a great fun thing to be involved in, I am so grateful Drew asked me to participate. After years of watching Mardi Gras as a Sydneysider, and having lots of friends who have been involved, it was so lovely to be asked. I felt like a Movie Star for the evening; it was so fun to bestow kisses and hugs and smiles and high fives and share the joyous, community spirit of Australian Lifesaving with the public.

It felt good to be able to actually help the profile of the event and direct media to relevant people [and there were a lot of media that were interested, well done team!] From memory the ones I spoke to were ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, Channel 7 and a couple of other rural radio stations. To get quotes from these sources indicates the high level of interest in Surf Lifesaving and its history in Australia.

Congratulations to all, and thankyou for letting me be a part of the parade. I was walking in my heart on behalf of all my gay and lesbian friends and relatives who are overseas or interstate, and I have directed them to the website so they can have a look at all the photos and fun.

What a night! And Bonnie will never leave my head...


bruce said...

Hey kids,
thanks for a grand old night. A big well done Mark, Ruari, Rhonan, Drew etc for putting together a fab show... you guys rock

hmmm, by the way - my mum reckons the lifesaver float was a totally kickin thing to watch. A wonderful show - and a real stand out from the others (which apparently were found lacking in comparison)

So, many thanks boys for opening the doors to all those like myself who wouldnt otherwise get to many chances to be a part of MG.

cheers, and thanks:)

The national group of gay and lesbian Australian surf lifesavers and their friends