Join wave of support for bicentenary

Businesses, community groups and individuals can stamp their names in history by sponsoring commemorative busts and coins to mark the first recognised European crossing of the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains businessmen Colless Foods owner Tom Colless OAM and Scenic World owner Philip Hammon, both co-founders of Businesses Supporting Bicentenary (BSB), have dipped deeply into their own pockets to personally underwrite the cost of both community projects.

Mr Colless commissioned internationally renowned Blue Mountains sculptor Terrance Plowright to create busts of explorers Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth for the Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015.

Mr Hammon commissioned 12,000 specially minted Holey Dollar commemorative coin sets for each school student in the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker said such gifts to the community would not be possible without the “generosity and selfless community spirit of Tom Colless and Philip Hammon’’ and encouraged others to help shoulder the financial burden.

He was delighted to report that several generous benefactors had already stepped forward including The Carrington Hotel, Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust and Bygone Beautys.

“This is a wonderful tourism industry contribution to leaving a lasting bicentenary legacy.’’

Businesses, community groups and individuals may fully or partly sponsor specific schools within the region to ensure all students received a commemorative coin set.

Sponsors will receive acknowledgement of business name and logo or personal name(s) in the printed collateral which will accompany the coins.

Contact sponsorship@bicentenary.com.au to request a current copy of the list of schools appendix or download it from www.bluemountainscrossings.com.au. The minimum contribution is 100 coins for $500 including GST.

The Holey Dollar commemorative coins are also available wholesale to businesses and organisations (minimum purchase 100 coins at $5 each including GST) to present as meaningful gifts or generate retail profits, and for sale individually (RRP $10).

And to help offset the cost of the commemorative busts, BMLOT is facilitating a fundraising initiative in conjunction with BSB and each of the chambers of commerce in the villages named after the explorers.

Businesses, families and individuals may make their mark in history by sponsoring a bust and have their name, family or businesses recognised as one of only 200 on a plaque.

Businesses can further capitalise on the historic Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015 program and reach more potential customers by taking part in a popular tourism guide book.

The BMLOT regional guide visitbluemountians.com.au is the official destination marketing publication for BMLOT, the official Regional Tourism Organisation for the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon destination region.

Open to any business between Penrith and Bathurst, it promotes activities, attractions, experiences and accommodation venues that inspire and encourage people to choose this region for their next holiday or short break.

There will be an online digital version and PDF download available on the visitbluemountains.com.au website, and the 2013-2015 edition will also contain the official BMLOT publication promoting the Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015.

There are three ways to be involved:

  • For $165:any business can be listed and receive associate membership
  • From $400 (depending on business) join BMLOT: receive all the benefits of full membership plus be listed in the guide
  • From $907 advertise in the guide $907 for three years

The offer will close on March 22 as the regional guide will be printed and launched on May 1, 2013.

BMLOT chairman Randall Walker said: “This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of one of the most significant milestones of this nation’s history.

“Celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the first recognised European crossing of the Blue Mountains will never happen again for anyone in business today. Joining this project would be a savvy business decision you cannot afford to miss.’’

Phone 1300 922 492 or go to visitblemountains.com.au for a copy of the prospectus, further information, rates and booking deadlines.

Along with an historic flyover of up to 200 aircraft over the Blue Mountains and the authentic 21-day Blue Mountains Blue Wave re-enactment trek over the mountains, the bicentenary will include a three-year program of events to commemorate and celebrate: the first recognised European crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813 by explorers Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth; the building of the Cox’s Road and finally celebrating Governor Lachlan Macquarie visiting Bathurst, Australia’s first inland settlement.

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