As the husband of a member of the Coal Creek Spinners group I feel compelled to write to express my disgust at the treatment of this volunteer group by Coal Creek management.
For more than 30 years these ladies have demonstrated their knowledge of hand spinning and wool craft to visitors to Coal Creek who range from school groups to international travellers.
Traditionally the ladies also have their handcrafted items on display and available for sale to visitors.
They provide their own equipment, materials and time to demonstrate a traditional craft, the cornerstone of Coal Creek’s “living history” environment.
They also interact with their many visitors and are true ambassadors for South Gippsland.
Having regard to this background, it is inconceivable that the group has been banned from selling hand crafted Christmas tree decorations to benefit their nominated charity, Food Bank at Milpara.
Following the ban, the group relocated their Christmas tree and decorations to Milpara Community House.
Further, they have now been told that in future there must not be any sales of their hand made products from Coal Creek.
As a result of this short sighted edict from Coal Creek management, most of the ladies have withdrawn from the demonstration roster and will not volunteer in the foreseeable future.
Coal Creek management appears to disregard the value that these people add to the Coal Creek experience. They should realise that visitors come to see history in action, not just static displays.
If they think that their ill-advised ban and its consequence will not affect visitor satisfaction (and eventually numbers), they are sadly mistaken.
Rob Whitaker, Arawata.