Katamatite’s lion-hearted effort to support fire-affected NSW farmers

By Liam Nash

Five trucks stocked with donated hay bales left Katamatite recently, travelling more than 1000 km to deliver feed to farms razed by bushfires in Macksville, NSW.

Having heard the devastating impact of blazes across the nation, Katamatite Lions Club president Graham Lukies decided to make a difference by co-ordinating a delivery through the Need for Feed initiative.

As a farmer himself, Mr Lukies’ act of generosity was made possible by local Katamatite farmers who supplied the feed, as well as the Lions Club which offered its full support.

“With the fires up there (in Macksville), they have got nothing,” Mr Lukies said.

“The Need for Feed have been supporting fire and drought-affected areas and we just thought we would get on board.

“I did a ring-around and there were some very good neighbours who all said, ‘no worries’, and gave us some feed.”

The Lions Club contacted Need for Feed, which decided on a destination for the bales. But with the feed ready to go, transport was still needed for two of the five loads.

Hearing about the hay run through their local Lions Club, Wellington Shire natives David Whillock and Mark Whale jumped in their trucks and headed to Katamatite, loading the feed early on Friday, November 29 and setting off on a 13-hour drive to Macksville.

“It’s got to help up there where the fires have been, we don’t understand it yet because we haven’t gone through it,” Mr Whillock said upon their departure.

“I think it will all sink in, in a couple of days when we get there.”

As the trucks went around the corner of Currie Lane and onto the highway, Katamatite Lions Club members watched with pride knowing much-needed relief was on the way for those in need of the hay.

“It just goes to show that farmers help other farmers,” Katamatite Lions Club secretary Rob Peachey said.

“If we were in the same situation, I’d say we would get some support from up north.”