The Warners Bay High mates who are growing tall

Mates: Jensen Hunt, Blake Bagnall, Max Stewart, Jock Hope and Kaileb O’Donoghue.

Mates: Jensen Hunt, Blake Bagnall, Max Stewart, Jock Hope and Kaileb O’Donoghue.

It’s school formal season and many a parent is at the ready with many a camera.

But Warners Bay’s Alison Stewart managed to capture something a little bit different.

On her “Faces of a Sunrise” Instagram handle, she posted a picture of her son and four of his mates, arms around each other, taking in the atmosphere at their Year 10 formal.

The contrasting picture shows the boys lined up in the same manner, when they were aged about nine.

Every couple of years, when the boys are all together, their mums try to get the same type of photo.

“The original photo was them in a swim team at school,” Alison said.

The mums are also friends.

“We met through the kids playing soccer down at Warners Bay,” she said. 

“The mums try and get together on Friday nights in summer at Music in the Podium at Warners Bay.”

The Warners Bay High lads have been mates since they were five years old.

They’ve grown up together, having gone to school and played soccer together.

“They’re still all really good mates. They have gone in different directions, but they still go to school together,” Alison said.

There’s a lot of joy in the pictures. But when put together in a montage, there’s also nostalgia.

This makes Topics think of all the pictures and videos that parents take of their kids when they grow up.

Will they look back on those pictures? And if they do, how will they feel? Happy or sad? Perhaps both.

We asked Alison about this.

“I don’t think it’s sad at all,” she said.

“Everyone’s got to grow up.

“We’re just lucky they’re growing into the people that they are.”

A Very Corporate Christmas

Christmas, it seems, is changing its name. This year, apparently it’s going to be called Cadbury Christmas.

Topics thinks this is a great idea. A sponsor for Christmas. All money raised can go towards… well… how ‘bout boosting corporate profits. 

Yep, the corporatisation of Christmas is stepping up a level.

In a very joyful and Christmassy press release, Topics was informed that “Cadbury Joy Deliveries” will “transform Civic Park, Newcastle, [on Saturday] into a Christmas tree wonderland”.

At this esteemed event, a brand-spanking new product will be launched. It’s called Cadbury Baubles.

“Doubling as a delectable treat and a Christmas decoration, the new range is the perfect present for family and friends this holiday season,” the press release said.

“Cadbury invites you to come along and help decorate a beautiful forest of Christmas trees using the new Baubles range.

“Amongst the forest will be an enormous Christmas tree with a giant mirror strategically placed above.”

The mirror is intended to “provide the illusion your family is floating above the tree to hang a bauble on it”.

As we understand it, anyone seen eating (or even thinking about) chocolate bars by Mars, Nestle or Lindt will be escorted from the park. This bit is a joke. But we do know one person who has vowed to rock up eating a Kit Kat.

Cadbury isn’t the only brand seeking to cash in on Christmas. In the UK, there’s a thing called the Coca-Cola Christmas truck.

“For many, Christmas doesn’t start until the Coca-Cola Christmas truck appears on our television screens and in our towns – its arrival signals that the festive season is well and truly underway and that holidays are coming,” Coke claimed in cocky fashion on its UK website.

Coke even boasts on its website that it “helped shape the image of Santa”.

“Santa has been featured in Coke ads since the 1920s,” it said.

Now Topics isn’t suggesting we should cancel Christmas or become like Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch. 

But isn’t Christmas supposed to be about peace on Earth and goodwill to all, rather than branding and consumerism? Guess we’re just being naive.

Send your thoughts on the corporate takeover of Christmas to

Is Christmas about peace on Earth or corporate and consumer greed?

Is Christmas about peace on Earth or corporate and consumer greed?