Com­mu­nity pitches in to help

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

SOME good can come from even the most ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tions.

Fol­low­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Christo­pher Pren­tice more than two weeks ago, that good was found in the Kalpowar com­mu­nity, which swelled with support for Mr Pren­tice’s fam­ily and emer­gency ser­vices.

“We are coun­try women and what do they do in a cri­sis? Cook!” com­mu­nity mem­ber Bar­bara McEwan said.

So when more than 50 SES vol­un­teers and po­lice of­fi­cers ar­rived for a search that was to last three days, they were greeted with scones, roast beef, sausages, quiche and all other kinds of good­ness the women dished up.

“I had lost my ap­petite, but even with­out it I al­ways had room for some of that roast beef,” Mr Pren­tice’s son, Michael, said.

Kalpowar’s Lyn Grant said the news that one of their own had gone miss­ing was shock­ing and she felt deeply for the Pren­tice fam­ily.

“We just wanted to do what we could to make the job eas­ier. It was so hot for them to be search­ing,” she said.

Kay Wilson drives the Kalpowar bus and re­mem­bered reg­u­larly run­ning Mr Pren­tice in to Monto.

“He never said much, but he was al­ways very friendly,” she said.

Michael Pren­tice said he felt more a part of the com­mu­nity now than ever be­fore.

“I was a bit of a her­mit, I guess, but I’m get­ting out more now,” he said.

“I’ve also joined the SES. I’m hop­ing to get my chain­saw cer­tifi­cate, traf­fic con­trol train­ing, first aid cer­tifi­cate that way and that could help me get a job. I’m re­ally ex­cited.”

The 23-year-old said if there was one good thing to come out of the ex­pe­ri­ence, it was def­i­nitely the way he was em­braced by the com­mu­nity.

“When it first hap­pened, I was a wreck,” he said.

“But the town put on a spread. I’ve pretty much met ev­ery­one here now.”

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

STRONGER: Fol­low­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Christo­pher Pren­tice, the tiny com­mu­nity of Kalpowar has swelled with support for his son Michael Pren­tice and the emer­gency ser­vices.

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