City visitor strikes gold

Published on 20 February 2014

Pam Sandells, of Vermont, was filling in time at the Red Couch Café in Bridgewater waiting for her sandwich to be made when she spied a competition voucher on the counter and submitted her details.

That idle moment has now produced a pleasant surprise, with the announcement that Mrs Sandells has been named the winner of a gold nugget in an innovative tourist promotion run throughout the Shire over the summer school holidays by Council’s Tourism Department.

Local residents and visitors alike were invited to lodge a voucher at one of 10 Loddon businesses to be in the running to win.

Mrs Sandells said last week the news had come as “a nice surprise”.

“I’m originally a Wedderburn girl – the daughter of Graeme Hargreaves, who now lives in Kilsyth – and we often stop over at Bridgewater,” she said.

“We were just waiting for our lunch, saw the voucher sitting there and my husband and I both filled one in.”

Tourism Manager Robyn Vella said the aim of the promotion was to “capture postcodes to find out where visitors and locals were going during the Christmas/New Year period”.

“Council would like to thank the businesses who so readily supported the idea – Mitiamo General Store, Logan Hotel, Red Couch Café, Boort’s Cup and Saucer Cafe, Newbridge General Store, Tarnagulla Post Office and Mini-Mart, Loddon Visitor Information Centre, Pyramid Hill’s Victoria Hotel, Dingee General Store and Fusspots of Inglewood,” Mrs Vella said.

Council Tourism Officer Sandra Steel conducted the draw of the winner’s name at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre last week, together with Director Economy and Community Bryan McEwan.

“The final tally of numbers hasn’t been done yet, but our guess is that we’ve had about 1,000 entries, with people coming from around the Shire, around the country and overseas,” she said.