Neighbours give $5000 to bushfire appeal

FIRE APPEAL: Wellington Rotary Club president Ruston Smith with Bob Colley (Mudgee Rotary) and Margaret Barnes (Mudgee Sunrise Rotary) donates $5054.70.
FIRE APPEAL: Wellington Rotary Club president Ruston Smith with Bob Colley (Mudgee Rotary) and Margaret Barnes (Mudgee Sunrise Rotary) donates $5054.70.

The Central West NSW Bushfire Disaster Relief (RABS) received a $5000-plus boost from the Wellington Rotary Club recently, who are looking to help their neighbours ravaged by blazes.

In February the Rotary Club of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise jointly sponsored and established a fund to assist individuals and families suffering significant loss and distress caused by the fires.

President of Wellington Rotary Club, Ruston Smith, made the trip to Mudgee on Friday to present the two local clubs with a donation of $5054.70 for the appeal.

“We keep money aside in a special account to cater for these kind of things,” he said.

“We’ve had the view for a number of years now that ‘one day it’ll happen to us’ and while this hasn’t happened in our area as such it’s our neighbours.”

Mr Smith added that the Sir Ivan fire – which was recently declared out after it burned about 55,000 hectares – did get very close to home for the Wellington club.

“For us the Dunedoo fire was the main one because a lot of us have got relatives who live in the fire zone,” he said.

“I have a good friend whose nephew was completely burned out, that family lost everything, it’s a horrifying thing.”

The blaze destroyed 35 homes in Uarbry and its surrounds, about 5,700 kilometres of fencing, and killed 430 sheep, 55 cattle, 325 goats and three alpacas.

Rotary Club of Mudgee president Graham Taylor said that the inter-club donation is on top of a strong support the appeal has received from locals, with donation tins thankfully coming back heavy.

“The response has been tremendous and that’s reflected in the donations that have been made at the various businesses around town,” he said.

“All we can say is ‘thank you’.” 

The collection tins were located at; the Woolpack, Oriental, Courthouse, Lawson Park hotels; Kelly’s Irish Pub; Café 89; Market St Café; Mudgee Newsagency; Mudgee Bakery and Café; the Post Office; Ashley's Lunch Box; Mudgee Brewing Co; and TAFE.

To donate to the appeal online go to http://bit.ly/2nl6DNs

The fund has been established through the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society – an arm of Rotary Australia World Community Service – and has been listed as a charitable fund.