Storm victim Arancaria Velasco, 8, of Lennox Head, is served breakfast by Salvation Army volunteers June Lock (left) and Wilma Grace at the Lennox Head Bowling Club emergency centre before leaving for school.
Storm victim Arancaria Velasco, 8, of Lennox Head, is served breakfast by Salvation Army volunteers June Lock (left) and Wilma Grace at the Lennox Head Bowling Club emergency centre before leaving for school. Jay Cronan

Community helps in time of need

MOMENTS after the tornado ripped through Janene Murray’s family home, she was already getting offers of help from her neighbours.

“That’s what the people of Lennox Head are like,” she said. “People brought over tarps because we’d lost our entire roof.

“Others brought soup and food and everyone offered us a place to stay.”

It’s been a similar situation all over the village. A community hub was set up at the Lennox Head Bowling Club, where the Red Cross, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and the Salvation Army were offering food and accommodation.

Ballina Salvation Army volunteer, June Lock, said a local high school student dropped off a batch of muffins she had made.

“Another lady also brought some in,” she said.

“We fed hamburgers to 75 people (the first night) and we’re doing breakfast as well.”

Almost everyone The Northern Star spoke to said the sense of community spirit was amazing.

One man said he had seen ‘great displays of friendship and mateship’.

“After the tornado, we all went out of our houses and stood around in shock,” he said.

“But then the adrenaline kicked in and we all just started helping each other.”

Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce president, Louise Owen, said she was proud of the way the community was helping each other.

“Everybody is pulling together to make sure we get through this,” she said.

“We are holding up fairly well, considering the level of devastation.

“We just hope that people keep coming here – keep visiting our beautiful little town.”

Reinforcing the need for tourists, the Lake Ainsworth Caravan Park yesterday said the cabins and caravan sites at the front of the park were ‘fully operational and ready for guests’.

“In keeping with the traditional Australian way of thinking, a small tornado isn’t going to get us down,” spokeswoman Amber Kolo said.



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