How Ipswich lit up for Christmas
THIS year's king of the Christmas lights gets a kick out of bringing a smile to the faces of people of all ages.
Cliff Murray (pictured) has been setting his homes up with lights and nativity scenes since he lived at Redbank Plains 21 years ago.
Having relocated to Rosewood five years ago, he's picked things up a few notches, and brought a few other residents from his quiet cul-de-sac along for the ride. Now a total of seven houses in Normanton Cl, Rosewood, are lit up for Christmas, but it was Mr Murray who took out the Overall Winner's prize in this year's River 949 Christmas Lights Competition.
"Why do I do it? The same reason everyone does it; to see the smiles on the kids' faces - big kids and small kids," Mr Murrary said.
"There is a great Christmas spirit in our little cul-de-sac. Everybody gets involved setting it all up. We all help each other and that is something that is starting to go missing in society."
Mr Murray's display includes a nativity scene for the more traditionally minded, plus inflatables, a 4m-long Santa and reindeer, a dancing Santa and a sleight that children can have their photo taken in.
"The way my wife and I have done it is so that there's something for everyone," Mr Murray said.
"One of my personal highlights was when this lady brought her car right up our driveway, apologised to us but then said she had a 103-year-old and a 91-year-old lady in the car that really wanted to see the nativity scene.
"We also had four or five buses from Cabanda aged care visit us this year.
"We'll start setting it all up the week after the Bathurst 1000 in October and from there it's a two-month process of swapping things in and out that we like.
"Every year we see more and more people and it is great for the town and for business because you'll get people coming in from Ipswich who spend money while they are here."
OVERALL WINNER: Clifford Murray, 14 Normanton Cl, Rosewood
Winner: Barry and Julie Collins, 1 North St, North Ipswich
Runner-up: Jenny and John Power, 9 Gledhow St, Willowbank
Winner: Clifford Murray, 14 Normanton Cl, Rosewood
Runner-Up: Kay and John Palmer, 10 Normanton Cl, Rosewood
Winner: The Pavillion Hair.relax.rejuvinate, 1/8 John St, Rosewood (Tracy Coles)
Runner-Up: Ultimate Elegrance Events and Wedding Planner,
4 Banbury Cl, Bundamba
(Kathryn and Malcolm Geiss)
Winner: Diana St, Springfield Lakes - Contact: Dean
Runner-Up: Nova Crt, Flinders View - Contact: Graham Blair
BEST RECYCLED MATERIALS DISPLAY:
Winner: Jan Sheldrick, 25 Drysdale Ave, Collingwood Park
Runner-up: Kerry Edwards-Steenstra/Jackson Draper,
10 Clarice Ave, North Ipswich
Brady and Rebecca Gray, 9 Blackwood Ave, North Ipswich
Steve Moran, 4 Inverness St, Flinders View
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD:
Best Residential: Brady and Rebecca Gray, 9 Blackwood Ave, North Ipswich
Best Business: Luke's Place, Alara Ipswich, 33 Salisbury Rd, Ipswich