By Luke Voogt
Torquay Lions Club sent a truckload of tools to bushfire-ravaged Buchan in East Gippsland on Wednesday after receiving hundreds of donations throughout March.
Ten members and a driver spent about 90 minutes loading the truck while trying to maintain distancing to prevent coronavirus spread, according to Torquay Lions Club president John Bell.
“We did all wear gloves and we tried to keep the distance [between each volunteer],” he said.
“We’ve had this thing for about three and a half weeks. It was something that just had to be done.
“The rebuild of Victorian and New South Wales communities will continue for many months.
“This has been a magnificent project of communities and organisations pulling together to relieve the concerns of people in bushfire-devastated areas.”
Lions members had liaised with the Victorian government while collecting the tools and Wednesday was the first time a truck had become available, Mr Bell said.
Fellow Torquay Lions member Brian Keane said the Victorian Bushfire Recovery Unit co-ordinated the delivery in response to the club’s call for a large truck.
Altona-based transport company, Visa Global Logistics, donated the truck and driver, he said.
“We have trailers full of garden tools; bins full of tools and accessories; and now have a truck to move the load to Buchan without charge.
“The generosity of our community has been overwhelming, and when we add in the great support from the Anglesea people through the Anglesea Lions Club, we are more than satisfied the tools project has been truly worthwhile.”
Blaze Aid will unload the truck at Buchan and ensure the tools and accessories go to those needing them, according to Torquay Lions Club.