Glenn Bridge from Coraki Towing sourced a trailer and took a load of food and water to Drake.
Glenn Bridge from Coraki Towing sourced a trailer and took a load of food and water to Drake. Narelle Oomen

One late night Facebook post and donations for Drake pour in

AFTER one late night call on Facebook for food donations for Drake, the community showered the Richmond River Express Examiner office with their country generosity

As the Long Gully Rd fire worsened, a Drake resident contacted the paper on Wednesday, September 11, saying they needed food and water.

Moments later Glenn Bridge from Coraki towing phoned to say he had a trailer and could go to Drake. Glenn had previously helped with a hay run to Drake earlier in the year.

When we walked in to the Casino newspaper office on Wednesday morning, bags of food and water had already begun to arrive.

John Oomen from Richmond Technology in Barker St, where the office is located, started piling up the bags of food.

Narelle Oomen was busy all day collecting donations while advertising sales staff Katie Gourlay and editor Susanna Freymark headed to Coles and Woolworths in Casino to ask for donations. The paper also spent $200 on food.

As we walked down the street, people gave money to add to the shopping expedition.

It was a busy and exhilarating day with the constant flow of people coming in.

Two young mums cooked home made meals for the fireys. Another thoughtful person included dog and cat food and nappies in their bag of goodies.

Woolworths donated water and Coles Supermarket delivered a pallet of water to the Express Examiner office.

The Commercial Hotel donated money and made a takeaway meal for Glenn the driver.

Coutryside Fruit and veg in South Casino dropped off several boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tracey Law from Karams Healthy Choices passed by, saw the donations, and went straight to her shop to make healthy snack packs for fire fighters.

So many people came and gave on their way to work in Casino.

Glenn did a run to Evans Head to collect more donations.

The donations became a mountain and grew throughout Wednesday as we waited for the trailer to arrive.

At 6pm, Glenn arrived with the trailer and for an hour we loaded the truck, cramming food and water into every crevice of the trailer and tow truck cab we could find.

Glenn drove to Drake where the goods were unloaded and distributed to fireys and 30 grateful families.

Drake resident John Snitch was thrilled to receive help.

Like many people, his couldn't leave his property for fear of an ember attack.

His wife was pregnant and due to go into labour, and he was exhausted making fire breaks around his home.

Thank you to every single thoughtful person who bought items into the office and responded so quickly.

You are the true meaning of country generosity.


Casino Golf Club is receiving donations for Drake and surrounding areas. Non perishable items, beverages, essential toiletries can be dropped off at the club and will be taken to the Drake Village Resource Centre to be distributed. Big items needed are chainsaws, pumps, garden tools, wheel barrows and hoses.


A Disaster Assistance Point will be open at Drake Information Centre, Fairfield Street, Drake between 1:00pm and 4:00pm throughout Monday to Friday.

Tenterfield Disaster Assistance will be open at Tenterfield Council Chambers from 9:00am to 5:00pm throughout Monday to Friday.

You can register your details prior to visiting the Evacuation Centre. Visit the Register Find Reunite site at and register for the 'Bushfire in Tenterfield'.

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

For information on road closures, check Roads may be closed without warning.

Patient in hospital after reports of an assault in Ballina

premium_icon Patient in hospital after reports of an assault in Ballina

EMERGENCY crews were called to Ballina after reports an assault occurred.

5 of our favourite craft spirits on the Northern Rivers

premium_icon 5 of our favourite craft spirits on the Northern Rivers

Locally made vodka, gin, rum and whisky... yes please!

Mullum takes centre stage in state-sponsored 5G espionage

premium_icon Mullum takes centre stage in state-sponsored 5G espionage

Australia’s Biggest Little Town features prominently in the latest Four Corners...