Armatree's big donation to Sir Ivan fire recovery

A small town 100 kilometres north of Dubbo has had a big impact on recovery efforts across the Sir Ivan fire ground. 

A phenomenal $67,000 was raised through an auction at Armatree in March which has since been donated to organisations leading recovery efforts in the Warrumbungle Shire. 

BlazeAid coordinator Laurie Dawson was left speechless as he was presented with $50,000 worth of fencing materials and a cheque for $9000 last week.

“I don’t know how to describe it – it is incredibly humbling to think that people can be so generous, thoughtful and caring,” Mr Dawson said.

“It makes it so much easier to do the work that we do.

“The look on property owners’ faces when they can come get a sling of pickets, a couple of coils of wire and can put up a few more kilometres of fencing is just wonderful.”

Auction organisers Ash and Lib Walker, and Greg Younghusband, Nigel Allen and Dean Ferguson were thrilled to exceed their goal of $50,000.

In fact, the team donated that figure alone in farming materials with the support of local agricultural organisations. 

They said businesses from surrounding towns such as Dubbo, Coonamble and Gilgandra contributed to the success of the auction through generous donations. 

This included everything from cordless grease guns and funeral plans, to a joy flight and spray tanks, as well as all proceeds from a lunch at the Armatree Hotel. 

“We were really well supported by a lot of those agricultural businesses – Landmark, Elders, AMPS Commercial, Walton Rural, Delta, Rohrs and Ag and Vet,” Ash said.

“We went and ordered $7200 worth of fencing material off each of those seven retailers and last Wednesday we were able to take $50,000 worth of fencing material across to Dunedoo and present that to BlazeAid.”

A cheque for $9000 was also presented to the Dunedoo Country Women’s Association on the day. 

“It’s great to see what an organisation BlazeAid is and it’s very infectious when you’re there,” Ash said.

“We were lucky enough to stay the night and enjoy a couple of beers with everyone and caught up with some local farmers.

“We just felt that we needed to do something to support that district.

“The overarching thing for us is that it could have been our district that was burnt out that day under those horrible weather conditions.” 

It is the second major donation to come out of Armatree which was also behind a hay drive in March that saw 19 semi trailer loads of hay delivered to Dunedoo.