WHAT began as an idea over a few beers has grown into one of the city's proudest traditions; a Christmas lunch bringing together people who have no one else to celebrate with.
For around 30 years, Barney Rumble, with the help of a team of volunteers has been making Christmas a little brighter for people around Bathurst.
Through the annual Bathurst Community Christmas Lunch, at the Hope Church, in Gilmour Street, Mr Rumble ensures everyone has access to a meal on Christmas Day, where they can also be surrounded by friendly faces.
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In its first year the luncheon had about 40 guests, last year there were over 240 people, something Mr Rumble thinks is probably a "sign of the times."
He said the idea behind the lunch is to make sure no one spends Christmas Day alone.
Over the years his band of volunteers as well as the generosity from the community has enabled the lunch to go ahead.
"People donate goodies, presents for the kids, hams, drinks and food and that's what we need again this year," Mr Rumble said.
"Whether it's food, a toy, wrapping paper, bonbons, any type of Christmas fare would be great."
Those who would like to make a donation are asked to drop non perishable items, drinks, and Christmas presents into the Western Advocate, or Kelso High School's front office. Those donating perishable items can call Mr Rumble to make arrangements.
In addition to food, decorations and gifts, Mr Rumble has also made an appeal for volunteers to help on Christmas Day.
People donate goodies, presents for the kids, hams, drinks and food and that's what we need again this year.Barney Rumble
Mr Rumble said anyone in the community, including adults and children, who would like to join in the Christmas lunch is welcome to come along.
"As long as they are there on the day, we don't ask questions," he said.
To assist people in attending, free transport will be provided to the church for those who need it.
Those wanting to attend the Christmas Day lunch can register by calling the Neighbourhood Centre on 6332 4866.
Inquires can be directed to Barney on 0409 785 990, or Hans Stroeve, who is helping out with the Christmas luncheon on 0414 623 296.
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