On the weekend of 17th and 18th May Almondco celebrated 70 years of business and 20 years of business in its current world class facility at Renmark. The weekend activities were very successful. This also coincided with the 2014 International Nut Congress held in Melbourne the week after our celebrations.
On the Saturday, approximately 25 international guests arrived and were treated to a great afternoon at the Wilkadene Woolshed at Murtho Paringa, tasting some locally brewed beer, a houseboat trip along the River Murray and finishing up with a lovely country style roast dinner cooked by Ed & Judy Cottam on the decks of the Woolshed.
On the Sunday we held an Open Day on the beautiful lawns of Almondco, we entertained approximately 280 invited guests. The invited guests were Growers, Staff, previous long term Staff, Current and previous Directors, Business associates, VIP’s, Customers and International guests. A large marquee was set up for seating with the entertainment singing duo ‘Wazza and Trendy’. Stephen Barton brought along his ‘Destiny Farm Animals’ which was a highlight for adults and children, a jumping castle and John the Magician from Waikerie was on hand with some wonderful tricks, which was a major hit for the children. All guests were given the opportunity to do an organised tour of the Almondco factory. Harvest machinery supplied by Sam Pearce was on display and our infamous Almond Hut was open for almond product purchases. Most importantly the food was in abundance, with Peter from Pego Pizza’s, Renmark Apex Club BBQ, Trevor and Kerry Braun with their ‘Strawberry Van’, Mario’s coffee van using Riverland’s own Arrosto Coffee, Nette Paige with her Vegetarian food and lastly our staff serving local Nippy’s juice and drinks. We were fortunate to have great weather and the atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed.
Then on Sunday night we again entertained 200 invited guests at the Renmark Club for a wonderful formal evening. Guests strutted in on the red carpet to be met by local photographer Ally Crawford (Violet Sky Photography) to have a nice photo taken of themself or a group. The Renmark Club kitchen put out a beautiful ‘Almond Meal’ menu. Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening was none other than Mr Tim Jackson. Tim roved through the tables with an old almond mallet lugged over his shoulder, interviewing several of the guests. As per normal with Tim, guests were thoroughly entertained. The cake cutting ceremony made for a fantastic photo shot with a celebration 70th Anniversary cake made by local cake maker and designer – Rosa Albanese. To cut the cake was Andrew Lacey (current Director and Deputy Chairman), Stephen Mann (past Director and Chairman), Bevan Shearer (past Director and Chairman) and Brenton Woolston (Managing Director). The evening was then topped off by some exciting entertainment by Colin and Simone Schmidt who operate under the name of ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’. They wowed the audience with their singing, violin and piano playing and amazing outfits. The night concluded with a glass of 15 year old Angove Tawny Port. Comments from many guests who attended this evening, said they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Overall, we had an overwhelming response to how successful the 70th celebrations went. It was also a tremendous team building exercise for management and staff; with many staff and management having to come together and help each other in many ways. A large thank you goes out to all staff and businesses involved in our successful 70th Anniversary celebrations.