Behind the Scenes: The Heart of the Fete - Collections and Sorting

Friday 30th June 2023

In preparation for the annual John McGlashan Fete, the college welcomes the delivery of two empty shipping containers every June. These containers take up residence by the Fete Garage (next to the Boarding Hostel), where they patiently await the Fete (Saturday 9 September 2023 this year).

Over the next three months, these containers gradually fill up with a multitude of treasures: dozens of bags of used clothing and hundreds of banana boxes filled with books, sporting gear, toys, groceries, chocolates, household goods, beddings, furnishings and much more.

Barry Reid, the Fete Coordinator and Collections Coordinator, explains the process. "We organize four specific non-uniform days each year: books, tombola, groceries and chocolate. In addition, from June onwards, parents and caregivers generously bring along their donated items to the Fete Garage.”

The process revolves around banana boxes. Although John Moyle from Freshchoice Green Island is our go-to supplier, the Moyle family's vacation has prompted Barry to collect boxes from various locations around town. Brent Chirnside from Freshchoice Roslyn has also stepped in to assist, ensuring a steady supply.

Barry describes this as the most fulfilling part of his role. "I like turning chaos into order," he says. A couple of mornings each week, after dropping-off his children, Barry visits the Fete Garage to make sure there's enough space for incoming donations. When a backlog of unsorted goods accumulates, he arranges a "sorting get-together” on the occasional Sunday morning. Up to 20 enthusiastic volunteers gather for an hour or so to sort donations and box them up, ready for sale. Sarah Carr shares her experience, saying, "We had some fun doing the book sort... what a great way to get to know other people."

You too can contribute to the 2023 Fete’s success by having an early spring clean and bringing your donated goods to the Fete Garage, which is open during term-time and will be open from 10:00am on Sunday 16 July 2023 for returning boarding families.

Stay tuned for more Stall Tales as we unveil the stories behind the various stalls that make the John McGlashan Fete such a cherished community event.