Off­sider the big is­sue for Don

Geraldton Guardian - - NEWS - Peter Sweeney

Don has a big is­sue.

He’s the only per­son in Ger­ald­ton do­ing what he does. But be­ing the sole ven­dor of The Big Is­sue doesn’t mean ev­ery­thing.

“I want some­body else to do it also,” Don said while spruik­ing the good news of his pub­li­ca­tion out­side Stir­lings Cen­tral shop­ping cen­tre.

He also sells from the clock in Marine Ter­race and the Sun­day mar­kets at the old rail­way sta­tion.

Sellers of the fort­nightly printed The Big Is­sue buy it for $3.50. They sell it for twice that amount.

“I’m on a (dis­abil­ity) pen­sion and the ex­tra money comes in handy,” Don said. “I spend it on look­ing af­ter my car.”

Orig­i­nally from Perth, Don, 66, has been sell­ing the pub­li­ca­tion for “a few years”, the past one in Ger­ald­ton. “I’d pre­fer to be in Broome but you can­not have ev­ery­thing you want, can you?” he said.

Don likes rolling his own cig­a­rettes. He knows he shouldn’t smoke. He suf­fers from em­phy­sema and his part­ner of 25 years died of throat can­cer.

“It’s hard to give away and a fella has got to en­joy some­thing,” he said. Pre­vi­ously, Don was a cabbie and a carer in Perth. Now he needs a lit­tle TLC in re­turn.

He bat­tles arthri­tis but loves mov­ing his joints when mov­ing The Big Is­sue.

“It (TBI) has been a big help for a lot of peo­ple. I love it,” Don said.

Then it was time to make an­other sale — a well-dressed young man giv­ing him a $10 note, say­ing, “Keep the change” — and light up a cig­a­rette.

Pic­ture: Peter Sweeney

Don, 66, is Ger­ald­ton’s sole ven­dor of The Big Is­sue mag­a­zine.

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