Winners light up spirit of Christmas

Published on 12 January 2018

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A holiday to America 20 years ago sparked a passion for Christmas lights that has netted the Porter family of Toongabbie a gong in the 2017 Blacktown City Decorate Your Home Christmas Lights Competition. 

Bob and Henrietta Porter were judged the joint winners of the Champion of Champions category in the highly popular contest.

They share the honour with Peter and Lauraine Overton of Quakers Hill, whose impressive lights display wowed judges and residents alike.

The hotly contested Best Overall category was taken out by Edward Fenech-Soler of Rooty Hill.

Andrew Moore of Stanhope Gardens scored the best Townhouse/Villa category for the fourth year in a row.

Mr Porter, a retired electrician, said it took him and his wife just two weeks to put up their winning display, which boasts “thousands of lights” and a Santa spaceship. 

 “We’ve been doing the lights for 20-odd years,” Mr Porter said.

“We went over to America years ago and my wife fell in love with the lights over there and that’s what started it all.

“Every year I say we won’t do it again and every year I relent.

“Every kid and every adult that comes to see the lights has a smile on their faces, and that’s what makes it worthwhile.”

Fellow winners Peter and Lauraine have been decorating their Quakers Hill property for 24 years and have taken out the Champion of Champions category four times before.

Mrs Overton said their lights display drew a crowd of about 400 people each night at its peak.

“People come from all over to see the house, from up in the Blue Mountains to down south,” she said.  

“We had treasure hunts, lollipops for kids, visits from Santa on the fire truck, a sausage sizzle and carols.

“There was a great community atmosphere and Christmas spirit.”

Next year will mark a quarter of a century since the couple started decorating their home, but Mrs Overton said they had no plans to stop.

“We’ll keep doing it as long as we can,” she said.

“The smiles on the kids’ faces and the friendly people you meet make it worth it.”

Mayor of Blacktown City Stephen Bali MP thanked everyone for entering in the competition.

“The quality of work and level of detail in the winning displays was astonishing,” he said.

“Home owners spent weeks decorating their homes for the enjoyment of Blacktown City residents.

“It just further shows the great spirit we have in our community and the lengths people will go to here to bring joy to others at Christmas time.” 

Media Contact:

Communications Unit, Blacktown City Council
Alan Gale – 9839 6409
Angela Ranke – 9839 0000
(phones divert to mobiles after hours)