Late last month, some 20 supporters, leaders past and present, and participants past and present, gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Margaret River English Club.
The celebration was made extra special thanks to a delicious Korean meal prepared by chef JD Kim, a former participant and now owner of Margaret River Kimchi, and a 6-layer rainbow celebration cake from Nadia Considine of Grab A Spoon.
Club convener Barbara Maidment said the group had been providing essential language skills as well as bridging cultural divides for a decade.
"Ten years ago, on 21 May 2009, six young backpackers, all from Korea and all on working holiday visa in Margaret River, gathered to begin casual conversation in English, under the auspices of the Margaret River Uniting Church," Dr Maidment explained.
"Since that time, nearly 2000 young adults have passed through the program. Taiwan has had the most participants, followed closely by South Korea, however, nine other Asian countries, 15 European countries and four countries from South America have all been represented by one or more participants.
Taiwan has had the most participants, followed closely by South Korea... nine other Asian countries, 15 European countries and four countries from South America have all been represented.- Dr Barbara Maidment
"Additionally, some 26 local folks have assisted by being discussion or small group leaders over the years."
Dr Maidment said there had been many long term relationships and friendships developed.
At the birthday celebrations, it was noted that 11 marriages have also come out of English Club friendships. Participants were invited to relate a memory of their time in the Club.
"Several funny stories were related, along with heartfelt thanks to the Uniting Church and the community of Margaret River for their support.
"Over the years participants have received essential guidance not only in their English language skills but with cultural questions, employment conditions and their rights, visa queries and so much more."
New participants are always welcome and new discussion leaders are also invited to make contact with Barbara Maidment via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
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