Visiting volunteers to the aid of fire victims

Garry Connelly (right) welcomes Dennis Clark and his team of volunteers at the Cassilis Community Hall.
Garry Connelly (right) welcomes Dennis Clark and his team of volunteers at the Cassilis Community Hall.

When Mudgee Rotary received a call from Corrimal Rotary to offer some hands-on assistance to landowners effected by the Sir Ivan Fire, the local Club swung into action to facilitate a program that would suit property owners and volunteers alike.

This was now a joint project of Mudgee Sunrise Club and Mudgee Rotary Club. It appeared that much of the devastation was in the Cassilis area, so dormitory style accommodation was organised for the 10 visiting volunteers at the Cassilis Community Hall. Upper Hunter Shire kindly waived any fees, while free showering facilities were offered at the nearby Royal Hotel.

After organising the accommodation, Mudgee Rotary Club member and past resident of the Coolah-Cassilis area, Garry Connelly, went about contacting various property owners to access what help was urgently needed.

“This ended up being a pretty difficult job because in most cases, every property required a huge amount of help in restoring fences, cleaning up burnt buildings, pulling down burnt stock yards and just restoring some normality to their property and lifestyle,” Garry said.

In the end, five properties were selected plus a clean-up of Uarbry village.

On September 26, Garry greeted a contingent of 10 volunteers, including three international students, at Cassilis to commence a week’s work in the area.

Team leader Dennis Clark had carefully assessed the work load at each property and by the end of the week all the identified work was completed.

“The satisfaction of knowing we had done a good day’s work of real benefit to the farmers was very satisfying. The students work ethic was amazing. They got stuck into the work without hesitation and kept at it all day,” Dennis said.

Dennis added that the work gave them much satisfaction and a real “feel” for the bush and its hardships.

“The farming community appreciate and get a moral boost from “city folk” caring about them enough to spend time lending a hand. In turn, they love to show us their country life. The team has satisfaction in knowing that they are making a meaningful contribution to the farmers. Bonding among the team is significant and of great benefit to our Club and of course the work is accompanied by a lot of fun and laughter.

Thank You Corrimal Rotary Club, in particular Dennis Clark, your volunteering to assist the property owners effected by the devastating  is greatly appreciated.