Veteran’s car loss sparks funds drive

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA TANIRAU

Joel Briggs from Porirua Auto Crash couldn’t be­lieve what he was see­ing while watch­ing Camp­bell Live one night.

He hap­pened to catch the story about Mata­mata war veteran Hugh Pick­er­ing’s 1977 Mazda 323 be­ing stolen. ‘‘I was dis­gusted,’’ he said. ‘‘I thought it was really low that some­one could do this to a man his age.’’

Joel de­cided to do some­thing about it and just over three weeks later he and his brother Joshua made the jour­ney from Welling­ton to Fairview Mo­tors in Mata­mata to present Mr Pick­er­ing with not just one, but three che­ques.

‘‘Well I’ll be,’’ said a stunned Hugh Pick­er­ing.

‘‘Gosh there are no words. I can’t ex­press my real feel­ings about all of this. This is just ter­rific. I don’t think I de­serve it.’’

One cheque was for $101 which was the pro­ceeds from a Trade Me auc­tion, $1300 was do­nated from Turn­ers Auc­tions in Welling­ton and a whoop­ing $7149.10 came from funds raised hold­ing sausage siz­zles and other fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Joel set up a Face­book page af­ter see­ing Mr Pick­er­ing’s story on Camp­bell Live. To date that page has more than 1600 likes.

‘‘I’m a Mazda car en­thu­si­ast my­self so I just really wanted to help him out,’’ Joel said.

Mr Pick­er­ing pur­chased a 2008 Mit­subishi i-Car for $8000 from Fairview Mo­tors af­ter Vaughan Nowell slashed the price of it by $2000.

New-found mates: Joshua Briggs, Hugh Pick­er­ing and Joel Briggs pose for a photo af­ter Joel Briggs pre­sented Mr Pick­er­ing with not just one cheque, but three.

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