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Mayor congratulates Rotary on longest continuous second hand book sale in New England

Celebrating 25 years this May, Armidale’s Rotary Book Fair is the longest, continuous running second-hand book sale in the New England and North West of NSW.

The annual sale attracts hundreds of eager book lovers, keen on snapping up a bargain or a special book. The sale also draws a large contingent of buyers and second-hand bookstore owners from Newcastle to the Queensland border.

Mayor of Armidale Regional Council, Sam Coupland congratulates Armidale Central Rotary on 25 years of the sale and giving generously of their time to the community.

“The longevity of any community event is significant, however to keep it going for 25 years and raise millions for local and international causes – that is remarkable and should be celebrated,” said the mayor.

“I encourage the community to once again generously support Rotary’s annual fair and wish Armidale Central Rotary all of the very best for this year’s fair and many more to come.”

President of Armidale Central Rotary, Mr Andrew Pratt, is extremely proud of their 25 year milestone and thanks the community for their ongoing support.

Each year there are between 40 and 50 thousand high quality books for sale over the eight days of the Book Fair, all donated by individuals, schools and libraries from the communities Armidale, Guyra and Uralla, “ said Andrew.

Often the big, yellow book bin, into which people deposit their books has to be emptied four times a week because of the generosity of the local community.

Mr Pratt explained that books at the sale mostly sell for either $3 for hardbacks and large format soft-cover or $2 for all general books in all categories and $1 per book for children’ books. CDs and DVDs sell for $2 each. 

This year the upstairs area of the Armidale Jockey Club will be given over to the Special Books. These are books that are either rare because of their age, highly desired because they would retail in the $60 - $200 range or books of exceptional quality.

Each year the funds raised by the Armidale Central Rotary club are donated to local, national and international causes. The bulk of the funds raised by the club are distributed to local charities, schools and organisations.

Armidale Central had their first book sale at Lazenby Hall at the University of New England in 1998 when the club was offered books, surplus to the needs of Dixon Library. Prior to 2014 all books donated to the club were stored and sorted in Ces Spencer’s garage. Ces Spencer was a club stalwart and instigator of the Book Fair.

In 2013 the Armidale Jockey Club leased Armidale Central Rotary Club some land on the corner of Canambe and Dumaresq Streets where club members built the Rotary Bookshed, named in honour of Ces Spencer, who sadly died shortly before its opening.

The annual Book Fair runs from Saturday 13 to Saturday 20 May 2023 (inclusive) 9am to 5pm daily and is held at the Armidale Racecourse on Barney Street opposite The Armidale School (TAS).

Armidale Central Rotary meets every Thursday at 12.15 for 12.30pm at Nova (122 Faulkner Street). Visitors are always welcome but please confirm ahead.

For further details https://www.facebook.com/ArmidaleCentralRotary/

Caption: Members and Volunteers of Armidale Central Rotary Club at their annual Book Fair, now in its 25th year.

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