The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Country trip lifts the spirits

- William McInnes is an actor and author

Atrip to the sticks is always good for the soul and puts things in perspectiv­e. Headed out to Kingaroy along the D’Aguilar Highway. Passed the “Dag” pub, couldn’t believe how much it had grown or how much the country around it has built up. On past Kilcoy and Somerset Dam, then to Moore where I stopped, because I never had before. Ordered a coffee and a “famous crab sandwich”, which was another first. Eating a crab sandwich that far inland? Well it was “Fishy Friday” and it tasted good.

On to Kingaroy. The land around was a lovely green, almost like a calendar illustrati­on, but you didn’t have to think too much to understand the recent rains had worked a bit of cosmetic surgery. The drought, the hard times weren’t far away. I was in town to speak at a conference. A Rotary conference. When I told a mate this was what I was up to, he laughed.

One can laugh at Rotarians and service clubs, they’re an easy target if you want to be smart. Laugh if you like but not at the work they do, the effort they put in. The Kingaroy conference was about building stronger communitie­s and reaching out to help.

To offer mental health services, raise funds for suicide prevention and local schools. It was a tonic to be a part of a bunch of people getting up and about and on with lending a hand.

Heading home on Sunday, I stopped for one of life’s great delights, a pie from the Blackbutt Bakery. As good as ever. Then police roared past, then an ambulance and then the firies.

A crash on the road to Brisbane. I had a car to return, a plane to catch. “Might miss your flight, Will,” said another pie fancier.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon after such a lovely, generous weekend, just down the road lives were in peril. I shrugged my shoulders.

“Long as they’re ok. Always another plane. Means I can have another pie.”

We laughed. A trip to the sticks puts things in perspectiv­e.

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