The tragic loss of one of their friends has inspired a group from Geelong to raise more than $128,000 for the Andrew Love Cancer Centre, over the past nine years. We talk to Brett Larkins, one of the organisers of the annual ‘Wisey Muster’ at the Sawyers Arms Tavern.
What inspired you to start this event?
The ‘Wisey Muster’ was initiated by five of us after losing a good friend, Steve Wiseman, at a young age to a terrible disease and realising that we probably don’t catch up as much as we should. Raising money just seemed like a natural thing to do and it has continued as an annual event.
What is it all about?
We wanted to keep the connection between Wisey’s mates and his family alive. It was a terrible loss for all of us, he had a broad group of mates from a wide geographic area and this is a way to retain this important connection. It’s also given us the opportunity to raise some money for the Andrew Love Cancer Centre, where Wisey was looked after (and spoke highly of) during the tough times.
How have you made a difference to the lives of the people in Geelong?
Being able to contribute to purchasing important equipment to either help diagnose, treat or aid in recovery of local and regional cancer patients. Unfortunately government funding is not able to buy everything they need and this helps fill that gap.
Tell us your most moving experience.
The day we were invited into the Andrew Love Cancer Centre and one of the chief Oncologists spent over an hour with us explaining what they do and how much the new equipment we helped buy meant so much to them and then touring the facility and meeting the nurses and staff. Knowing how much Wisey’s family, and particularly his Mum, appreciate us doing this every year.
Do you have a message for the people of Geelong?
Geelong is a great place to call home, 20 minutes from some excellent surf beaches, superb wineries on the Bellarine Peninsular and nearby rural areas, a spectacular water front with the amazing historic timber Eastern Beach Promenade but we would really like it to be more community minded and respected outside of our region and known for helping out where we can.
The 2017 Wisey Muster will be the 10th edition. Put it in your diary now: Friday May 26th 2017 at The Sawyers Arms Tavern (aka Clats).
Photo from left to right: Jacqui Tol, Brett Larkins, Andy Worland, Melinda Hovey, Stuart Turner.