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Floods no bar for Jimmy

Musician Jimmy Willing, Circus the Singing Dog and Genna Phewacket didn’t let the rain wreck their gig at Billinudgel Pub.
Musician Jimmy Willing, Circus the Singing Dog and Genna Phewacket didn’t let the rain wreck their gig at Billinudgel Pub. Blainey Woodham

NOTHING was going to stop Jimmy Willing getting to his Australia Day duties - not even a flood.

The musician hitched a ride in his neighbour's canoe down his flooded street in North Lismore so he could make it to his gig at the Billinudgel Pub's celebrations yesterday.

"I had to get rowed to the end of the street because there was a river running across it," he said.

"Apart from it being my job, all these people were going to turn up to the pub. The show had to go on."

After completing his long journey, he joined other Australia Day revellers at the pub with a schooner in hand and his well-known canine companion, Circus the Singing Dog, at his feet.

Mr Willing's resilience was echoed throughout the Billinudgel community after floodwater swept through the town on Wednesday.

Many locals spent the morning cleaning up the silt and debris before heading down to their local watering hole for three-legged races, VB and live music.

A group of locals headed down to the pub prior to the celebrations to help publican Ken Barnham get the bar Australia Day ready.

"A few of the guys helped out - you've got to have the pub open," Mr Barnham said with a laugh.

"We started at daylight and spent a few hours cleaning up."

Scott O'Donnell also got up at the crack of dawn to clean out the Billinudgel Laundromat, which was inundated by water on Wednesday.

"We have done it 100 times before," he said.

Armed with a broom, Mr O'Donnell's daughter Ella, 8, also helped out with the clean-up so they could get to their annual Australia Day lunch at the Billinudgel Pub.

Topics:  australia day flood rain weather



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