Lismore LGBTIQ group Tropical Fruits have dedicated their upcoming New Year’s Festival to community hero Tony Allison, who passed away in September.
For the past decade, Tony (pictured) had been New Year’s Eve Production Manager for the group, which this year is celebrating their 30th anniversary New Year’s Eve Festival, with a theme of “Shine”.
At Tropical Fruits, Tony is remembered as a friend, brother and Uncle who managed the technical production of the group’s signature end of year festival alongside a diverse crew with vastly different skills and abilities.
“He tirelessly put in enormous effort, time, generosity, sweat and we are sure at times even tears,” the group said.
“He was able to do this with grace, humour and the ability to instil pride in everyone’s work. Tony was always teaching, even when he wasn’t.
“No one came away from a NYE working with Tony without having learned new skills and more importantly, how to use them.”
Tony’s career as a production and site manager began at Brisbane’s Expo 88 and included Lismore’s Lantern Parade, Bellingen’s Turtle Festival, Coffs Harbour Coast Out Festival and Big Day Out.
After his involvement in the production Rise of the Eco-Warriors filmed on Borneo in 2012, Tony spent half of each year in Borneo contributing to the fight for the local orangutans.
Tony had a unique and infectious world view. He saw beauty in even the most mundane, and as a photographer, captured staggering beauty with his lens, whether photographing the huge or the minute.
Earlier this year Tony said, “Remember we are all souls on this planet having a human experience.
“Treat each other with respect, acknowledge the person opposite you is another self in a different vessel sharing the same planet, reliant upon nature to sustain you.
“Move forward into the coming year with grace, connect with your planet and it’s people and nurture your true nature.”
Tropical Fruits said next month’s festival was dedicated to Tony.
“SHINE is what you did, SHINE is what you helped us all to do… so this one’s for you brother.”
Three big parties to bring in the new year
Tropical Fruits’ New Year’s Eve festival is a four-day LGBTIQ celebration held in the city of Lismore in northern New South Wales, the shimmering heart of the “Rainbow Region” on the land of the Bundjalung people.
The group’s chair Brett Paradise said the fun, safe and inclusive club had come a long way in its 30-year history.
“This is the perfect year to come for the first time, or to come again, as we celebrate 30 years as a social club,” he said.
“We truly dance upon the shoulders of giants, so come celebrate with us and be part of the ongoing history of Tropical Fruits and our LGBTIQ community.”
The group are planning three main parties on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with the festival kicking off on December 29 with a Street Parade through the Lismore CBD.
“The retro-chic Lismore Showgrounds will be lovingly transformed by hundreds of volunteers into a sparkling new renaissance of our own unique LGBTIQ culture,” Brett Paradise said.
Tropical Fruits’ SHINE New Years Eve Festival will be held from December 29 until January 1. For more details, visit the Tropical Fruits website.
(Photo by Drew Hopper)