Long road for PCYC
AFTER being shaken to its core during Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Whitsunday PCYC is working hard behind the scenes to get back up and running – but they’ve still got a long way to go.
A recent donation of $1000 from tips taken by the Reef Gateway Hotel courtesy bus has gone some way towards helping the community facility but it’s highly unlikely the centre will re-open this year.
PCYC manager Sergeant John Dickinson has been on the ground since the cyclone hit and said they were doing everything they could to get things back to normal.
“(But) it’s difficult times for everyone and there’s quite a fair bit of damage to the PCYC,” he said.
“We’re trying to maintain our service to the community but some of the stuff we (usually) offer we (now) can’t because of different aspects.
“Those we can maintain we are maintaining (but) a lot of equipment we had was damaged or is unusable and we had to throw it away.
“(To the community we ask) just work with us. We’re doing what we can under the circumstances.”
Some centre activities like gymnastics, kindy gym and over 50s activities are being held at Kipara Hall while basketball is being held at Cannonvale State School.
Most other activities have been unable to return because there is simply nowhere else in the community for them to be held.
As for the timeline of when the PCYC would re-open, Sgt Dickinson said with internal damage, they were still unsure but current estimates suggested it would be between seven and nine months.
It’s this level of damage that ultimately led the Reef Gateway Hotel to want to donate $1000 to the centre.
“I think it’s a good local community service and they’ve gone through a pretty tough time,” Reef Gateway Hotel marketing manager Mark Wilkins said.
“We went down and had a look ourselves. I was unaware and I think a lot of people in the community are probably unaware of the extent of damage it has.”
Sgt Dickinson said the donation would definitely help as the PCYC’s funding was self-generated.
Choosing a different local community organisation for each $1000 donation, Mr Wilkins said Volunteer Whitsundays would be the next beneficiary of the bus tips.