Brushing up on major cause
BEFORE Garry Holmes became a full-time painter he spent 40 years working as a barman in pubs around Lismore.
At the Civic Hotel he bore witness to the incredulous responses when the proprietor introduced the city's first smorgasbord.
As a kid he sat outside the cinema and watched as fire crews tried to save the Commercial Hotel from destruction. Built in its place is the Rous Hotel, which Mr Holmes worked at for 19 years.
He said although he loved working in pubs because of the people and their stories, he spent a lot of his working life gazing up the hill to his home in East Lismore, wishing he was in his garage painting.
Now that dream is a reality and he spends every day at the easel.
Not surprisingly, the pubs of Lismore captured his imagination to the extent they now feature in many of his works.
One such painting is of the Winsome Hotel in North Lismore, which was announced on Saturday as the site of the city's new crisis accommodation for people in need.
Mr Holmes has donated his painting of the Winsome to be auctioned at a business breakfast being hosted by The Northern Star and the Lismore Soup Kitchen on Friday at Miss Lizzies in the Richmond Hotel.
It aims to raise awareness and funds for the Soup Kitchen's crisis accommodation.
Guest speaker at the breakfast is Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia and patron of the soup kitchen.
Tim Costello is recognised as one of Australia's leading voices on social justice issues, having spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.
Mr Holmes said he was happy to donate his art to good causes, and homelessness was a cause he felt strongly about.
Mr Holmes will also be doing a painting at the breakfast to be auctioned on the day. Places are still available to attend the breakfast. Tickets are $35. Call 66 200 531.HOW TO HELP THE HOMELESS • SUPPORTThe Northern Star's campaign by attending the business breakfast with guest speaker Tim Costello, 7am on Friday at Miss Lizzies in the Richmond Hotel. • JOINThe Northern Star's Giant Homeless Sleepout, from 6.30pm on Saturday in the Lismore Shopping Square car park.