Monday, October 08, 2012

Tool crazies can step aside for sake of island nation's needy

A POWERFUL question echoes around the homes and yards of Australia every weekend as householders bundle out their trash and treasure at garage sales. From the first glimmer of Saturday dawn to the Sunday sunset, blokes of all shapes and sizes surrender to an obsessive mania and rummage through mountains of offerings. Sometimes they'll shout from driveways and footpaths but more often they'll corner a householder away from the thronging bargain hunters and whisper: "Eh, mate, ya 'ave any tools?" Canny tool hunters know well that an overheard whisper can cause a stampede.
THIS Saturday, just watch the tool crazies elbow each other out of the way as they look for their holy grails of things that grab, pinch, cut, turn, drill, clamp and polish. Tool manics always believe they will be the saviours to rehabilitate injured servants. Even tools that are scarred from hard service and fully deserve a graceful retirement are hot property at garage sales.
THAT's why it was a big ask when Cleveland resident Gordon Lawrence recently advertised for donations of tools for a remote region of Vanuatu. But Gordon, sales consultant with The Redland Times and Bayside Bulletin, knows the power of the Classifieds and is now accumulating a special toolbox, bound for The Banks Islands; the consignment package is still far from full. Gordon became aware of the need for hand tools and medical equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, on his visits to the region. "It's a third world country and these areas have no electricity; the beautiful people there badly need hand tools and basic medical aids," he says. He is working with other Redlanders as Friends of Vanuatu to supply tools for a youth training program.
RETIRED fitter and turner Clive Oldroyd, 82, of Victoria Point, saw Gordon's "wanted" notice and donated eight toolboxes of equipment. Born at Gladesville in Sydney, Clive did his apprenticeship with a firm that manufactured mainly railway rolling stock, and he later plied his trade in Queensland. He says he's happy to donate the gear to such a good cause. Clive and wife Josie have lived in the Redlands for about 40 years, and even after two decades of "retirement" Clive admits he's still not totally content without "work".
NEVERTHELESS, Clivesorted out tools that were surplus to his requirements for pick-up. Josie seems to have had a fulfilling retirement. She kept busy as a potter, now makes jewellery and is a life member of the Old Schoolhouse Gallery, Cleveland Point. Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

This column has appeared in the Redland Times.

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