News

It must be Christmas!

RINGING IN CHRISTMAS: Pat Kennedy will be lighting up his West Ballina home from December 1.
RINGING IN CHRISTMAS: Pat Kennedy will be lighting up his West Ballina home from December 1.

IT just wouldn't be Christmas in Ballina without the Kennedys and Motbeys lighting up their homes.

Pat Kennedy has been lighting up his 3 Riverview Ave home at West Ballina for so long that he now isn't sure if it's been for 18 or 19 years.

But he has been lighting up his home long enough now that adults who visited as children are now turning up with their own children in what has become a Christmas tradition for many.

Pat has never been worried about power bills - his award-winning light-up has always been about the kids.

But he has installed LED lighting throughout his display, as well as solar-powered ropes of light.

He has about 75,000 lights in his display, which will be turned on December 1, and switched off at the end of that month.

"It's been magic for me," the 75-year-old said of his display.

Around the corner in Oakland Ave, West Ballina, Rob and Maree Motbey use their light-up to collect money for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter and the Ballina State Emergency Service unit - a cut-out of the helicopter will adorn the roof of their home when the lights are turned on December 1.

They started decorating their home at Christmas for their grandchildren, but then decided to make it a fundraiser for the two rescue organisations.

Rob is a former tow-truck drive and Maree is a volunteer at the helicopter op shops.

They have raised $18,000 for the helicopter in 11 years and $7000 for the SES unit.

Currently, the SES is fundraising to build a new shed at its Ballina headquarters.

The Motbey family will be lighting up until December 28.

They use LED lighting and solar power, but consider any cost to themselves to be like a donation to both causes.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

‘Maniacs’ are making people leave Lismore

Darren Bell, owner of Play Quest, in his kitchen where a violent intruder caused havoc.

"The CBD is now a place that people don’t feel safe"

New bakery planned for Goonellabah industrial area

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread

Proposed commercial bakery would create jobs in Goonellabah.

A CSG explainer for confused voters

Sandwich boards outside Prepoll are confusing voters. Greens candidate Kudra Falla-Ricketts and Greens  Jeremy Buckingham, in the middle of it all.

What is the Water Trigger and what have local pollies done?

Latest deals and offers

Car crash at Alstonville

A crash at the intersection of the Bruxner Highway and Ballina Road involving a number of cars.

A car crash at the intersection of Bruxner Highway and Ballina Road.

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?