23.5 C
Byron Shire
April 11, 2021

A rewarding PNG journey

Latest News

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Mask of Freedom

Today in Mullumbimby I witnessed a woman blowing bubbles on people. She was walking with her dog and blowing bubbles over passers-by. What is usually the magical work of the fairy tribe, today it had a kind of aggression. The bubbles weren’t by accident. This was a ‘Fuck You’ to mask wearing. A fuck you to people wearing masks. A fuck you to the existence of this coronavirus.

In the ditch

Peter Olson, Goonengerry The Suez Canal blockage is just one small part of the Reset Button: unexpected delays, meet ‘just-in-time’ production. You...

Kyogle unveils writers fest program

Billed as 'a small-town festival with big ideas', Kyogle Writers Festival is shaping up to be a great celebration of writing. 

Women’s rights focus at Renew Fest

Two further headlining guests have been announced for Renew Fest, which describes itself as a ‘festival of full system...

Fundraiser for EB at the Beachy

At any given moment around 500,000 people, mostly children, live with Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) a group of rare medical conditions that result in easy blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. 

Interview with Dan Willis

Dan Willis brings Best of British back to the Byron Comedy Festival. It was a sellout last year, with the audience confirming it as one of the favourite shows of the program. Dan is back – this time with Rory Lowe and John Flynn, and spoke with The Echo…

 

Pick the locals (l to r) Siobhan Quaine, Todd Pearce, Gary Richards and Mark Cochrane with some of the kids whose families benefited from a recent aid mission to The Louisiades and Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea. Photo Alison Cochrane
Pick the locals (l to r) Siobhan Quaine, Todd Pearce, Gary Richards and Mark Cochrane with some of the kids whose families benefited from a recent aid mission to The Louisiades and Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea. Photo Alison Cochrane

A recent mission to supply villagers in Papua New Guinea with basic needs has been hailed such a success that the organisers had to say ‘no more!’ to donations.

Mullumbimby realtor Mark Cochrane and wife Alison have just returned from a trip to one of our closest neighbours and – along with a few other locals on the journey – have made a big difference to villagers in the Louisiades and Trobriand Islands.

Mr Cochrane told The Echo, ‘We’d like to thank all those people and companies who gave so generously to help our effort on this our second trip. You have no idea how gratifying it is to give a chap like 84-year-old Wesley from Bentley Island a pair of glasses for the first time in his life.

‘Wesley said, “Mark, now I can see to put the hook on my line. You don’t know how much this means to me and my family!”’

The biggest donors, according to Mr Cochrane, included Craig Watson’s pharmacy, Soul Pattinson, with 17,000 analgesics plus malaria medications.

‘Other big donations were made by Sanctum Billinudgel, Brunswick Holistic Dental and Farmhouse Gourmet (formally Pacific Plantations) at Brooklet.

He says it was mostly Mullum people who donated the kids’ clothing.

‘We even had to say “no more” as we had a pretty strict weight limit seeing as we had 6,000 litres of fuel plus all our own food for three months at sea.’

Half a tonne of clothing shipped

After a rough crossing of the Coral Sea, Mark and Alison arrived with half a tonne of clothing, nearly 500 pairs of reading glasses, 800 tooth- brushes, over 200 caps and thousands of analgesics and other medical requisites for local health outposts as well as lots of fishing gear and educational material.

‘We arrived less than a week after Cyclone Ita had severely damaged many villages and flattened the local people’s long-established gardens.

‘The villages we visited have no power, no real health services and rely on fishing and small crops to survive.

‘It’s hard to get your head around the level of poverty; it’s so widespread despite the fact these people work so hard.

‘Women often work bare footed all day in their gardens while men go to sea in dugouts for long hours day and night in the hope of catching protein.

‘Occasionally never returning – a dugout log is not a very seaworthy vessel.

‘We met many kids aged up to eight years who’d never seen a white person before and this is a wonderful and humbling experience.

‘First comes the “fear”, then the inquisitiveness and then the acceptances and infatuation. One local teacher called us “white angels”. We can’t claim that title but can pass the compliment on to all those who donated to our trip.

‘We hope to go again next year so if you have old tools like chisels, hammers, saws, and things like fishing line and hooks etc then keep them ready if you’d like to help again.

‘Good on you, Byron Shire, and thank you all again.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Poor Pauline

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton A lot of hypocrisy from Labor and The Greens about respect for women. Look at the treatment they dished out to Pauline...

New film celebrates getting back outside

'Free From Lockdown: Back Out in Nature' is a new short film in which a group of disabled and non-disabled performers from the Northern Rivers celebrate being in nature after COVID lockdown.