When Macksville’s Ex-Services Club’s Judy Ward spoke to the Mid North Coast Machinery Restoration Club (aka Rusty Iron Rally) members on Sunday, it was at their invitation, to learn more about the Doing It For Our Farmers drought initiative.
As farmers themselves, it did not take long for the stories of the lack of money, food, water and fuel to touch their rural hearts.
A motion was soon on the table to allocate $3000 to help with water, raised to $5000 after a bit more discussion.
Publicity officer, Elaine South, said the group was shocked to hear the WeeWaa was in fact out of water totally.
“Imagine that – no water to shower or wash – it’s not a good place to be in,” Elaine said.
“Being farmers, you really feel for these people.
“Some of them are in real dire straits with their stock, sending their stud animals to the abattoirs.
“It really makes you stop and think. It’s terrible.”
She said the committee had decided the money should be for bottled water and should be handed out in the form of vouchers so people could make their purchases at local businesses in their towns.
Judy said on Tuesday she had received word the Rusty Iron Rally’s cheque had landed in the right account, ear-tagged for water.
Meanwhile back at the Macksville Ex-Services, the foyer is once again overflowing with donated goods ready for a third load of food, water and money to be sent out west.
“This all started three weeks ago and it has absolutely snowballed,” Judy said.
“We have raised $2660 through our Buy-a-Bale effort … hay is hard to come by now, but all the money will still go towards animal feed.
“The response from the entire valley has been excellent, amazing!”
Judy said the Nambucca River Co-Op and Woolworths were both interim collection points.
* This year’s Rusty Iron Rally will be held at the Macksville Showground on the Father’s Day weekend, September 1 and 2. Watch this space!