Billinudgel’s landmark pedestrian bridge over the old and new Pacific Highway has been named after the late Lloyd Poynting, who ran the village’s general store for almost 50 years and was a founding member of the Billinudgel RSL Sub-branch.
The Lloyd Poynting Bridge was dedicated last Tuesday, on the 88th birthday of Lloyd’s wife Gloria Poynting.
Their son Robert told Echonetdaily he was pleased the bridge finally had a name and it had taken five years of dealing with ‘red tape’ to achieve it.
He said he put in a submission to the Roads and Maritime Service in 2010 for the bridge to be named after his late father (1922 – 2004).
‘My father was a Billinudgel identity and a person I believe worthy of such recognition,’ Robert said in his submission.
‘Lloyd was born in Murwillumbah and moved to Billinudgel in 1934 and at the age of 14 he began working in his father’s (A H Poynting) General Store in Wilfred Street (Billinudgel).
‘The family lived above the store and Lloyd joined the 2/2nd AIF in 1939 and was posted to New Guinea from 1942 to 1946.
‘After Lloyd was discharged from the army he immediately re-joined the family business as he was needed because his father took sick and passed away in 1947.
‘From the time Lloyd took control of the business he went out of his way to help people less fortunate that himself. Lloyd would make sure people had food and in many cases he was never fully paid for the groceries that people who had fallen on hard times were given.
‘Lloyd was a founding member of the Billinudgel RSL Sub-Branch Club and together with other war veterans he established a clubhouse and began fitting it out with a flag pole, snooker table, small bar and running regular meetings and fund raisings.
‘Lloyd was the longest serving member of the club until it folded in 1999. Lloyd was a Justice of the Peace from 1949 and was readily available to sign documents for anyone who needed assistance.
‘Lloyd took over as Postmaster at Billinudgel Post Office from 1947 up until 1980 and was generally referred to by locals as the “Mayor of Billinudgel”.
‘Lloyd sold the general store business in 1980 after serving the community for 46 years and moved to South Golden Beach to enjoy and live out his retirement.
‘During his retirement he remained a vital member of the RSL club, mowing the lawns, painting and keeping up the maintenance. In recognition of his service Lloyd was awarded a Life Membership of the RSL.
‘Also during his retirement Lloyd was a member of the local Bush Fire Brigade and also as a volunteer assisting in the protection and reinstatement of sand dunes.
‘Lloyd lived through an amazing time when the small town of Billinudgel was a thriving centre for the surrounding farms.
‘Lloyd was looked up to and admired for his leadership and wonderful service to the community. Lloyd passed away in 2004, aged 82 after a battle with cancer.
‘Having Lloyd remembered in this way is fitting as a pedestrian bridge is designed to take people safely over the road and my father certainly assisted a lot of people “along the road”, during his 46 years of service, at the Billinudgel General Store.’