LIKE many other clubs and businesses, COVID has brought its challenges to the Anderson Inlet Angling Club and its members.

However, club members have risen to the challenge with their efforts culminating in a successful annual raffle and club ‘Open Day’ and equally successful family fishing clinics in January.

The Anderson Inlet Angling Club (AIAC) annual raffle, which raised more than $4000, was drawn on Sunday, January 2, at 1pm at the AIAC Open Day.

A group of children, who were waiting for face painting artist Kim Geddes, enthusiastically mixed the tub of raffle ticket stubs before diving in and selecting the prize winners.

First prize went to Mitch Foon, an employee of Southcoast First National Real Estate, who was the lucky winner of a high-quality stand up paddle board supplied by Serious Surf Stuff.

The winner of the second prize would be instantly recognised by anyone who regularly frequents the local coffee shops and restaurants.

Marlina, former owner of Vela Nine (now Amore) in A’Beckett Street, could not believe her luck when told she had won a fully automatic De’Longhi coffee machine supplied by Betta Home Living of Wonthaggi.

Surprisingly, she did not have a coffee machine at home!

The third prize was a large Gorilla utility cart for the beach or at home that had been donated by Capeview Mitre 10 and was stacked full of fishing gear, quality sunglasses (supplied by optometrist Malcolm Gin of Eyes and Optics) and various items donated by Terry White Chemmart and Drift in Inverloch.

The lucky winner of this prize was Hayley Macfarlane from Morwell, who put it to immediate use by catching a few whiting at Port Albert.

The money raised by the raffle goes towards maintaining the club premises and funding the club’s fishing clinics held during the year.

The ‘Open Day’ replaced the club’s traditional market day and featured face-painting for children who were also entertained by talented balloon artist Luke Geddes.

He kept them enthralled with his ability to make just about anything they requested with his balloons.

Children could also enter a ‘colour a fish’ competition which was won by six-year-old Clara Williams, granddaughter of Bert and Margaret Williams from Kongwak. The runner–up was five-year-old Calina Tyler from Wattle Bank.

There were displays in the hall from the Inverloch Historical Society, the angling club and various other organisations that use the club premises.

All of this was complemented by live music from local band ‘The Ripples’, a barbecue and outside tables on the lawns surrounding the club for people to enjoy a drink and the take-away food.

It all added up to a fun family day which the club intends to repeat next year with hopefully even more attractions.

During the year, the club ran two successful women’s fishing clinics in partnership with the Inverloch Community House. The club hopes to conduct two more clinics in February and March.

However, in January, the clinics were run for the benefit of families and although they were weather affected with one clinic on January 5 being cancelled, the clinics on January 12 and January 19 again proved to be a big hit with the participants.