By ERWIN CHLANDA
The dry river regatta Henley on Todd, due to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, has been cancelled because Rotary could not raise the extra manpower which Covid plans require.
The boat race has been cancelled only twice: Last year because of the pandemic, and in 1993 – believe it or not – because the Todd River flowed.
Rotary has also cancelled the annual Bangtail Muster.
Asked how come the Rotary events, unlike the Finke Desert Race, the Wide Open Space festival and a string of other events could not be revived this year, organiser Eli Melky says it’s a cry for help from the three service clubs: “Our numbers are dwindling. We need people to join us. Rotary is taken for granted. People are sitting on the sidelines throwing rocks at us and bitching on Facebook. It’s take, take, take.
“The community needs people who give. Idle self-gratification just won’t do.”
Mr Melky says the event needs 200 people – all volunteers – on the day and a sizeable team all year ‘round.
It costs more than $100,000 to stage.
Mr Melky says Rotary hopes bringing back the long-time tourist attraction next year.
PHOTO: The spectacular boat battle.