May has been a bit busier for our board and staff as a slight easing in restrictions has seen a small increase in activity around our communities. I have really missed be being able to catch up in person with many of the groups and people I meet in my capacity as Chair of our board. On the flip side, I have become quite adept at zoom meetings including the odd virtual background!
 
Our board meetings have continued to be held virtually utilising internet technologies as have many peoples work continued in this way. However, we must remember the vast majority of peoples work cannot be done remotely. Over the last month we have endeavoured to recognise groups that haven impacted by the drop in foot traffic around our community, as well as those who had to work in difficult circumstances.
 
One initiative we took was to have hold a series of virtual sausage sizzles to support those groups that usually hold sausage sizzles outside Lara Quality Meats. (CWA, CFA, Lara Museum and Lara Lions). It is really important to recognise the value these organisations have to our Community. With the support of Andrew Gunther who supplies all the sausages free of cost every Saturday each of these groups raise important funds. In recognition of these lost funding opportunities, our bank has made a contribution to each of these groups. The intention is to help offset the funds normally received via the sausage sizzles.  We have also made a contribution to the Lara Men’s Shed who hold regular sausage sizzles outside of Coles.
 
Another initiative taken in what we have called our month of #communitykindess has been to have our Branch Manager, Galen and our Support Officer, Sheyne out and around local businesses including the medical centres, child care centres and aged care facilities and provide either actual coffees or vouchers (all from local cafes) for the staff who have continued to work in their public facing roles. 
 
In the tough times it is important we look after each other. I am really proud of our board coming up with the idea to show our appreciation to all of the local businesses that in many cases are doing it pretty hard but continued to operate regardless.
 
A lot of families have been impacted by what has happened across the globe, but we can all do something about it. Just a simple check in, check on your neighbours and offer a hand or a gesture of kindness.
 
Lastly as advised we had temporarily closed our branch on Saturday only during stage 3 restrictions. This week the board took the decision to recommence Saturday trading effective Sat 13 June 2020.
 
Our Bank is the ONLY bank in town to offer this service. While many banks now choose to force customers online by closing earlier or closing at lunch times we still love meeting face to face with our customers as well as providing a great internet banking service and you can rest assured, that all safety and health precautions are being taken. See you soon and take care.

 
Andrew Hilliard
Chair

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