Thieves force Bed­ford Park can­teen to shut

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

The fu­ture of the Bed­ford Park can­teen is look­ing bleak af­ter of­fend­ers cleaned it out, tak­ing ev­ery­thing ex­cept the mince pies.

Overnight on July 17, se­cu­rity guards found the can­teen shelves empty, leav­ing the man­ager deeply sad­dened by the self­ish act.

The man­ager, known only as Max­ine, has been run­ning the can­teen for the past three years each Satur­day morn­ing dur­ing win­ter and said be­cause of this, the can­teen will no longer be run­ning.

‘‘Over $800 worth of lol­lies, drinks and other food was stolen.

‘‘I will ad­mit, I was very gut­ted. I don’t have the funds to start it up again.’’ Max­ine said she helped run the can­teen to give her grand­chil­dren the chance to work, earn a bit of money and de­velop money han­dling skills – and for the kids. ‘‘ I just love the lit­tle kids that come to buy lol­lies. That’s what I did it for. When a kid comes up to you and holds out their hands with a few coins and asks, ‘ how much can I get?’, it is spe­cial to be able to help them out,’’ she said.

‘‘ I al­ways tried to keep all the lol­lies cheap so that the kids com­ing could af­ford to buy a few.’’

Each year Max­ine hires the can­teen off Bed­ford Rugby Park and stocks the shelves her­self.

Next year she will think about run­ning it again but at this stage, she said she couldn’t af­ford to do it.

‘‘I know this type of stuff hap­pens but it is hor­ri­ble, and some­one must have seen some­thing,’’ she said.

If any­one saw any­thing sus­pi­cious on the night of July 17 or knows who the of­fender is, con­tact the Mata­mata Po­lice on 888 7177.

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