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Friendship flung worldwide

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A boomerang has spun around the globe by plane, train and bus for eight years before landing back in Newcastle.

International organisation Newcastle Friendship Force, one of 24 in Australia, presented the boomerang to fellow club Gifu, Japan, when its members visited the region in 2011.

The native Aboriginal weapon then travelled from club-to-club, departing Brazil’s most populous city, Sao Paulo, bound for Atlanta in the US state of Georgia, before making it to Lima, the capital of Peru.

The boomerang also visited the Belgium province of Limburg; Solothurn, which lies on the foot of the Weissenstein Jura mountains in Switzerland; Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city; and the Cape of Good Hope, a rocky headland situated about an hour’s drive from Cape Town in South Africa.

A final international stop in Dallas, Texas, was followed by a return to Newcastle via the Sunshine Coast.

Newcastle Friendship Force president Glenda Masterson said it was the third boomerang to return home.
“I was the journey coordinator when Gifu Japan came here,” she said.

“We gave it to them, they took it back home, and then they’ve passed it on to the next club that came to them,” she said.

“So, it’s gone to about eight different clubs and, when we went to the Sunshine Coast, they’d got it back when one of their members visited Dallas.”

Mrs Masterson said boomerangs were regularly sent out, with members set to present two more to clubs in Hamburg, Germany, and Leicestershire, England, in the coming weeks.

“There would’ve been dozens sent out, but they don’t always come back – they get lost in transit somewhere,” she said.

“That’s why we get so excited when we get one back.”

Newcastle Friendship Force is the largest club of its kind in Australia with 101 members.

The non-profit organisation has been successfully managed and run by volunteers for more than three decades.

One of its major goals is to spread peace, goodwill, friendship, and harmony throughout the world and within Australia.

The club receives and hosts sizeable groups from overseas, developing a seven-day program of activities to showcase Lake Macquarie and the Newcastle region to its visitors.

More than 350 clubs belong to the Friendship Force International.

Email Glenda via [email protected] or Jim on [email protected] for more information.

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