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Uniting Church Safaris closes

After 27 years of Christian-based tours Queensland’s Uniting Church Safari (UC Safaris) wound up operations in August.

The brainchild of Rev Aub Baker (at that time the Burke and Wills Patrol Padre) and the late Jim Smallbone during a Synod meeting in 1983, UC Safaris has raised much needed funds for the work of the Church in Western Queensland and around Australia and built relationships between country and city church members.

Jim Smallbone took the first coach trip to the outback in 1984. His last tour was in 1992 having led sixteen tours.

To date forty-four tours have taken place encompassing not only the out back, but all states of Australia, Thursday Island, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island and New Zealand.

In 1999 a Board of Management was formed under the auspicious of the Downs Presbytery.

At the general meeting of the Board August 13, regrettably the decision was made to discontinue this arm of the Church’s activity, mostly due to the number of touring companies now competing for business.

In the 12 years of operation, the Board has distributed in excess of $210,000 to the many needy causes of our church community including Frontier Services, the McKay Patrol, and the appeal to repair the Thursday Island mance.

Doug Fergusson is the Uniting Church Safaris Chairman