The Border Watch : April 18th 2014
8 OPINION EDITORIAL KICKING back and gorging on chocolate or sitting paralysed by grief and loss - what would you like your family to be doing next Easter? It’s a question all Limestone Coast motorists need to ask themselves before getting behind the wheel this long weekend. Colourful bunnies and piles of eggs will symbolise nothing but sorrow for five families, who lost loved ones on South Australian roads in the 2013 Easter break. Those five deaths were added to a rolling total that would climb to 98 by the end of the year. Strong warnings, graphic advertisements and the tireless efforts of campaigners did nothing to curb the dangerous driving of 121 Limestone Coast motorists nabbed during this period last year. The lead-up to this weekend has not brought much hope for authorities - earlier this month two dozen people were caught driving under the influence of drugs as part of a weekend blitz in the Limestone Coast. A further three were drunk. At the close of every weekend, without fail, The Border Watch receives police reports of drunken, drugged up and hooning drivers. Next Tuesday we hope to tell a different tale. As you get behind the wheel this holiday season, high on the philosophy “you only live once” remember the responsibility you have for the happiness of others. If your life means so little you are prepared to risk it by mixing drugs, alcohol or speed with driving, shape up for your family’s sake. It’s not just your Easter you’re ruining - it’s theirs. Easter symbolises a time of renewed life and new beginnings, families getting together and holiday escapes. Let’s make the right choices this Easter and ensure the only dramas come from sibling squabbles. From everyone at The Border Watch, enjoy a blissful - and safe - Easter break. VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au COMMENT Ellen’s homeless story highlights a giving society ROM THE FRONT PORCH REENWOOD R GRAHAM R MOST regional towns are strong in their support of sporting and community clubs and groups. It forms the basic fabric of these communities. ESTABLISHED 1861 Published by The Border Watch Pty Ltd ABN: 78 007 828 819 Registered office: 81 Commercial Street East, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 Postal address: Box 309, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 Telephone: 08 8724 1555; Fax: 08 8724 1551 Website: www.borderwatch.com.au SMS: 0427 135 114 Proud member of the SCOTT GROUP OF COMPANIES The Border Watch Management: General Manager: Robin Reid Email: email@example.com Editor: Jason Wallace Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor: Rod Morris Email: email@example.com Sales Manager: Dennis Jackson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-Press Manager: Jamie Croker Email: email@example.com Administration Manager: Demi Hammond Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Border Watch Audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations Telephone 8724 1555, Fax 8724 1551 Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Jason Wallace, 81 Commercial Street East, Mt Gambier The Border Watch proudly uses 100% recycled paper 538600 8 - The Border Watch, Friday, April 18, 2014 In this regard, Mount Gambier is a very lucky city. The support sporting and community clubs or groups receive from the many businesses in sponsorship and donations is quite extraordinary, but easy to identify. What is not often so easy to identify or not as generally well known is what the Mount Gambier community and businesses do for charity and the disadvantaged. Some of this is because much is done behind the scenes through the tireless efforts of volunteers. They don’t seek praise or publicity, yet, no matter how difficult financial times may be, local businesses and volunteers roll up their sleeves and continue to contribute in a substantial way. In this regard, Mount Gambier has a very giving and compassionate community. Sometimes it is wise to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and look seriously at what our local society contributes to the many charities in various ways. One of the great success stories of the STREET SWEEPER Do you think federal parliamentarian Tony Pasin was effective in presenting 120 black balloons representing the loss of jobs at ForestrySA to Forests Minister Leon Bignell yesterday? KAITLYN PALTRIDGE Mount Gambier It was a fantastic idea. Tony made it a physical point so it should draw more attention to the issue. RACHEL TARR Mount Gambier It was a good publicity stunt. He sought attention in a positive way and drew focus to the issue. ADRIAN MILLOWICK Mount Gambier It would have certainly made a strong point. I think it was a good decision. past two years has been the commitment of a loyal, hard-working group in helping ac.care assist Mount Gambier’s homeless. Two years ago a small committee headed by local Ford dealer Barry Maney OAM raised about $38,000 at a luncheon. As a result of that, more than 500 local homeless people were assisted in the past year, which included more than 160 children. Some of these were “street kids”. It is a horrible thought isn’t it - street kids in Mount Gambier. It poses the question, how do these people fall through the cracks and end up on the street? Well, it can happen in so many ways, often never the fault of the people who end up on the street, without possessions, jobs or a place to sleep. It can happen simply through the death of a single parent, often leaving numerous young children to live with relatives, and sometimes this finally forces them onto the streets. It could be because of an abusive family situation, the loss of a job or financial hardship, causing the loss of the family home. Regardless of the reason, it seems inconceivable that in Mount Gambier on any given night there could be tens of people sleeping in doorways, on park benches or moving from one friend to another to find a couch or bed for the night. This is the reality of the real world out on the streets. A local community is often judged by how it looks after its disadvantaged or the less fortunate and last week more than 360 people attended a luncheon at The Barn to raise funds for Mount Gambier’s homeless. The people dug deep and by day’s end $75,000 was raised, all of which will go to ac.care to help Mount Gambier’s homeless. This was an amazing one-day fundraising effort which came without any national corporate help. The venue, food, wine, drinks, prizes and auction items were donated by local businesses. A former street kid, 18-year-old Ellen, who has fought her way off the streets and into normal community life, brought tears to many in the audience when she told her heart-felt story. It was the first time she has spoken in public and it must have been intimidating to stand before 360 people and tell her story. But she did it well. Through the work of ac.care and the great giving spirit of the community, she has turned her life around and is studying to be a childcare worker. It took a lot of courage to speak in front of that audience last week, but it certainly took a lot more courage and determination to change her life. The people and businesses of Mount Gambier can take great credit and pride in the fact they played a part in helping people like Ellen survive the streets, giving them a chance of a fruitful future. Ellen’s change-in-life success shows what a giving community can achieve. Well done Mount Gambier.
April 17th 2014
April 22nd 2014