Years of planning and construction finally came to fruition as the Salesian community celebrated the grand opening of new buildings at Victoria’s Don Bosco Camp and Centre. Source: Salesian Bulletin.
Don Bosco Camp provides holiday camps for poor and disadvantaged young people. Being a not-for-profit organisation, the camp hires the site out during term time to finance the holiday camps for young people who would otherwise go without. The Safety Beach site has been offering holiday camps for young people since 1945, and its summer and winter holiday camps continue this tradition today.
The expansion will be instrumental in allowing the Safety Beach camp and centre to further evolve its mission by adding a range of new services such as catering for a full school year level, or more niche interests such band or sports camps.
About 200 people attended the opening of the new facilities on Sunday, taking a tour of the new gymnasium, chapel, multi-purpose hall, conference room and offices.
Bunurong Elder Uncle Shane Clarke conducted a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony to begin the day’s events.
Afterwards, the group made its way into the new gymnasium, which had been set up to host Mass, led by Salesian provincial Fr Will Matthews.
In his homily, Fr Matthews - who migrated to Australia from Myanmar when he was 23 - spoke fondly of his own experiences as a young brother who was still learning English and had been reluctantly sent to the beach-side camp during a cold and wet winter, only to come to understand just how special the place is.
“When I came down I was a bit depressed and didn’t know what to expect ... but while I was down here, when I was here for camp I had the best time of my life. I made so many new friends, and I learnt so much from my new friends.”
After Mass and the blessing of the buildings, a barbecue feast was served followed by live music, games, jumping castles, arts and craft, face painting and dancing.
New Chapter for Don Bosco Safety Beach (Salesian Bulletin)
About the Don Bosco Camp (Don Bosco Camp and Centre)