A visit from a rather special Rotary Club to drought- and fire-ravaged Ebor has been embraced by the community, with club members also swinging by Homestead RFS in Tenterfield to show their appreciation.
The club in question is the Rotary e-club of District 9650. Ostensibly the district stretches from Glen Innes to Lightning Ridge and across to the coast, but these members meet online so distance is no object.
It is however, when looking for a place to gather in person for a pre-Christmas get-together, and a pin on a map in the centre of the district landed near Ebor, around 80k east of Armidale. Given the village's trials of late, with drought and then fire, the Rotarians decided to do what they could for the community during their stay.
Fourteen of them descended on the Ebor Hotel where they were welcomed by Tim the publican with open arms. They visited the local 16-student school and planted two hardy ornamental pears (purchased along the way from Loganlea Nursery in Tenterfield) and helped with other yard work.
Each student was given $10 to get themselves a little something for Christmas, and the visitors were well catered for by the school's P&C. In return the members supported the P&C's raffle night back at the pub on the Friday evening.
They also left behind a chunk of money at Fusspots Cafe and were treated to a history walk to check out the local sites and Ebor Falls.
"That's what Rotary is about," club member Warren (known as 'Cowboy') McLaughlin said, "helping people in need.
"For a community devastated by drought and fire, the best thing is to know that people are thinking of them."
Next stop on the adventure for some was returning to the Sunnyside property of Cowboy and wife Sue. A barbecue at the Homestead RFS shed on Tuesday evening included a presentation to Homestead and Barney Downs crews to show the Rotarians' appreciation for all that the firefighters are going through.
The certificate of appreciation cited 'For your unrelenting devotion, commitment and service in fighting the devastating fires in the Tenterfield District.'