The overwhelming generosity of the local community has seen two, not one, Bobbins Transport semi-trailers jam-packed with goods for Bundaberg flood victims valued at an estimated $90,000 plus.
The semis were crammed so tight with furniture, linen, toys, and other goods plus cash donations you’d be pushed to find room to squeeze in a grain of sand.
Known for their enormous hearts, Neville Bobbin of Bobbins Transport, and Pambula Rotary community service director Daryl Dobson spearheaded the drive to collect the goods, and prepare the semis for the 1876km journey north.
The first of the big freezer semis was packed and left on Sunday at 1pm with Neville at the wheel, the second, driven by son, Brendan Bobbin, departed later that day at 5pm with the first arriving in Bundaberg on Monday and the second yesterday, Tuesday, to the absolute rapture of the flood-affected community who are most appreciative of the high quality of the goods.
Included in the donation of goods were 16 fridges, 24 double beds, 16 wall units, brand new electrical goods, and 26 bikes. Eight of these were from Eden Marine High School’s mentoring program. One lady donated $500 worth of new linen and another lady, $300 worth, Daryl said.
Daryl put his life and business on hold and spent the last week and a half travelling around the shire picking up goods with the assistance of two of his staff David Hof and Adam Donoghue. They notched up 2000km as they travelled the length and breadth of the shire.
Pambula Rotarians embraced the big Bundaberg or bust campaign and were busy loading the semi-trailers on Friday and Sunday with the assistance of Bobbins’ staff and some community-minded residents.
Daryl said it cost $10,000 a truck to transport the goods and Bobbins Transport sponsored one truck and Bendigo Bank had paid $2000 to fuel the second truck.
Daryl said he would be knocking on the doors of other service clubs in the area to make up the other $8000 required.
The News Weekly asked Daryl what he thought of the community’s response and for the first time in his life he was speechless.
Finally he regained his speech and said:”I can’t get over the amount of generosity that is always forthcoming from our community.”
He told the story of one donor who had emptied out his wardrobes and chest of drawers so he could give to the cause. “He said he would leave his clothes on the floor and would get around to replacing his furniture some time … he had lived in Bundaberg and it was that important to him to help his former community,” Daryl said.
Heartfelt thanks have been showered on the local community from the Salvation Army and Rotary Club in Bundaberg following the delivery of two semi-trailer loads.
Tom Osborne, community services manager of the Bundaberg Salvation Army, said: “People really appreciate the generosity of people so far away. It’s mind blowing; it’s just the sort of people Australians are.”
Bundaberg Rotarian and past president, Susan Marstaeller said: “The first truck arrived on Monday at 1pm. The furniture was unloaded and most of it has been allocated. The Bundaberg community has been really delighted and people are really pleased with the high quality of the goods. Everything has been claimed because the quality is so good.”
The second truck arrived at 8am yesterday morning after being held up by rain. Mrs Marstaeller said that “Neville’s beautiful trucks had driven through torrential rain” to get there and especially thanked Neville Bobbin, Daryl Dobson and the community for all their efforts.
“Thank you very much to the community down there,” she said.
Speaking yesterday morning, Mr Osborne said that they had just unloaded the second truck and “a whole heap of people in Bundaberg are very happy”.
“It (the furniture) hasn’t been allocated yet because we’re waiting for people to come and pick up the furniture from yesterday so that we have the space. There’s no doubt it will all go because of the good condition it’s in,” he said.
One lot of furniture is heading for the Baffle Creek community who were completely cut off during the floods.
The local community donation was among the first to bear fruit for the Bundaberg flood victims.
Mrs Marstaeller said that Bobbins trucks were the only Rotary organised trucks to arrive that she was aware of and Mr Osborne said the trucks were in the first five semi-trailer loads to arrive in the last few days.
Rosie Young, president, Rotary Club of Pambula said: “Yet again this compassionate community is to be saluted for its support, initiative and just plain old fashioned caring for others. Well done, Neville Bobbins, Daryl Dobson, Bobbins Transport staff, Pambula Rotarians, citizens of the Bega Valley Shire, and the local media. Thank you so much.”