Com­mu­nity spirit warms the heart

Albany Extra - - News - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

It was all smiles on Sun­day de­spite the wet and windy weather at the Al­bany Advertiser’s Thank You Fireys com­mu­nity bar­be­cue.

More than 150 peo­ple turned out to say thanks and meet West Coast Ea­gles star Jeremy McGovern at Hazbeanz Cof­fee dur­ing the free event.

Chil­dren and their fam­i­lies came down for a kick with McGovern and to en­joy a hot sausage siz­zle — all to say thanks to our fire­fight­ers who helped in last month’s bush­fires, which razed more than 17,000ha of land in the re­gion.

McGovern said he was thrilled to be in Al­bany for the day.

“I’m glad I could come down and show my sup­port to the fireys and thank them for their won­der­ful ef­forts,” he said.

“For­tu­nately I had an op­por­tu­nity to come down so it was great to be here. I’m glad it fell on a bye so I could come and show my sup­port in per­son.”

The West Coast Ea­gles star said the bush­fires last month were close to home. “Some of the fires were over in Lit­tle Grove and, as that’s where I grew up, it was very close to home for me, bit scary, but I’m grate­ful that ev­ery­one got to­gether to put them out,” he said.

McGovern said the com­mu­nity bar­be­cue was a bril­liant day spent with many happy chil­dren kick­ing the footy around.

“It was great to see all the kids com­ing down. I love to put a smile on all their faces,” he said.

“Es­pe­cially coun­try kids, they don’t get to be ex­posed to the AFL stuff as much, so it’s al­ways good to see them and kick a footy around.”

South Coast Bushfire Bri­gade’s Brian May said it was great to see the com­mu­nity show their sup­port. “This the first time in 40odd years that I’ve seen the com­mu­nity come to­gether so well,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one dur­ing the fires were great as­sist­ing the fireys and the traf­fic was ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous, pulling off the side of the roads to let us through to get to the fires and put them out.

“The gen­eral pub­lic were amaz­ing.

We were out on the fire-grounds and peo­ple were com­ing up and of­fer­ing us food and drinks.” Mr May said it was great to see a good turnout at the bar­be­cue.

“Un­for­tu­nately the weather was a bit cold and rainy but it was a great bar­be­cue,” he said. “It was great see­ing fam­i­lies come down and show sup­port. It was much ap­pre­ci­ated and most of the peo­ple that came down are the ones that turned up to help with the fires.”

Pic­tures: Lau­rie Ben­son

West Coast Ea­gles star Jeremy McGovern with lo­cal fans.

Lach­lan, 7, Jennifer, 12, and Michael Bell, 10.

Deandre, 7, Lewis, 9, and Shane Woods, 5, with West Coast Ea­gles star Jeremy McGovern.

De­clan Pit­man, 5, with father Luke.

Cher­ryle Mahi­nay and Ra­nia Bell.

Mark Adams and son Alex, 10.

Louise D'Ad­dadario with Kingston Rodd, 3 and Hunter Rodd, 5.

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