Community spirit warms the heart
It was all smiles on Sunday despite the wet and windy weather at the Albany Advertiser’s Thank You Fireys community barbecue.
More than 150 people turned out to say thanks and meet West Coast Eagles star Jeremy McGovern at Hazbeanz Coffee during the free event.
Children and their families came down for a kick with McGovern and to enjoy a hot sausage sizzle — all to say thanks to our firefighters who helped in last month’s bushfires, which razed more than 17,000ha of land in the region.
McGovern said he was thrilled to be in Albany for the day.
“I’m glad I could come down and show my support to the fireys and thank them for their wonderful efforts,” he said.
“Fortunately I had an opportunity to come down so it was great to be here. I’m glad it fell on a bye so I could come and show my support in person.”
The West Coast Eagles star said the bushfires last month were close to home. “Some of the fires were over in Little Grove and, as that’s where I grew up, it was very close to home for me, bit scary, but I’m grateful that everyone got together to put them out,” he said.
McGovern said the community barbecue was a brilliant day spent with many happy children kicking the footy around.
“It was great to see all the kids coming down. I love to put a smile on all their faces,” he said.
“Especially country kids, they don’t get to be exposed to the AFL stuff as much, so it’s always good to see them and kick a footy around.”
South Coast Bushfire Brigade’s Brian May said it was great to see the community show their support. “This the first time in 40odd years that I’ve seen the community come together so well,” he said.
“Everyone during the fires were great assisting the fireys and the traffic was absolutely marvellous, pulling off the side of the roads to let us through to get to the fires and put them out.
“The general public were amazing.
We were out on the fire-grounds and people were coming up and offering us food and drinks.” Mr May said it was great to see a good turnout at the barbecue.
“Unfortunately the weather was a bit cold and rainy but it was a great barbecue,” he said. “It was great seeing families come down and show support. It was much appreciated and most of the people that came down are the ones that turned up to help with the fires.”
West Coast Eagles star Jeremy McGovern with local fans.
Lachlan, 7, Jennifer, 12, and Michael Bell, 10.
Deandre, 7, Lewis, 9, and Shane Woods, 5, with West Coast Eagles star Jeremy McGovern.
Declan Pitman, 5, with father Luke.
Cherryle Mahinay and Rania Bell.
Mark Adams and son Alex, 10.
Louise D'Addadario with Kingston Rodd, 3 and Hunter Rodd, 5.