A Birthday with a Difference


It is every 12-year-old boy’s dream to have a birthday party filled with their family and friends, food, games, and a day of fun. For local boy, Charles Powell, this year’s celebrations would be different, with his party cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Charles’ parents Lisa and Vin Powell organised a Zoom party, where his family would surprise him online, via video conference from all around the world.

“Charles was pretty disappointed to have to cancel his party with all of his mates and cousins. We really wanted to do what we could to make it special for him, so we had a family Zoom party!” said Lisa Finn-Powell, Charles’ mother.

With his siblings unable to fly up from Melbourne to join him, the family had a gift opening session on Zoom. Each member of the family had their own window, which saw Charles’ mother (Lisa) and father (Vin) as well as brother (Nick) and sister (Belle) in different rooms of the house. Older sister Grace and her boyfriend Pim were in their garden in Melbourne, along with older brother Will at his house. Charles’ Aunty Kari, who lives in North Carolina in the US, even popped in as a surprise visitor.

“To open each present, Charles ran up and down the stairs and all over the house to where we were all sitting with our computers. The whole experience was a lot of fun. We also did a screen share of our birthday card to him, which said ‘You are getting a DOG!’. At that point, everyone went mad with excitement. It was unexpectant to all of the family” explained Lisa.

Of course, no birthday is complete without a cake and this year Charles was treated to a Star Wars ™ themed chocolate cake, with R2D2.

“It really was a wonderful birthday party in the end. The best surprise I could have asked for” said an excited Charles.

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