Community pitches in to help
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.”
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.