Men of League offer drought support

HELPING HAND: Tamworth Men of League members Peter Johnson, Peter Vergen, Ken Thompson, Ron Surtees and  president Kevin Roberts. Photo: Gareth Gardner 070618GGD001
HELPING HAND: Tamworth Men of League members Peter Johnson, Peter Vergen, Ken Thompson, Ron Surtees and president Kevin Roberts. Photo: Gareth Gardner 070618GGD001

SOME old footballers are hoping to offload support to farmers doing it tough.

While Men of League have been known to rattle the tin, the Tamworth branch are putting on a “chill and grill” at the Calala Inn to ease some pressure in the community.

Ron Surtees admittedly doesn’t know a lot about about the land, but he knows the community is doing it tough.

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“A lot of people from the Dungowan-Loomberah community drink here, come here for tea, and the amount of money they are spending on feed, astronomical,” Mr Surtees said.

Looking back, Mr Surtees said this was one of the worst dry-spells in his living memory in Tamworth. and it was important to ease some worry.

“The worst thing is there’s no relief in sight,” he said.

“We need bucket-loads [of rain].

“You've just got to look at the grounds, it’s parched.”

The get-together has been penned-in for Sunday, June 24, with a free barbecue put on for the region’s farmers.

He said there was a link between the charity and the rural communities, but the event is open to all.

“There’s a lot of farmers in the Tamworth district, in Loomberah and Dungowan area, who have played league or their offspring have played league,” he said.

Initially, Men of League considered doing a “hay drop” or some other assistance, “but the logistics and the cost were just astronomical”. Once the idea and value of a relaxing get together was mooted, it was all systems go and the publicans at Calala, Daniel and Kim Camilleri have thrown their support behind the cause too.

“The beauty of this weekend is there is no Group 4 rugby league, hence the haste of being on then,” Mr Surtees said.

“And it’s got to be on soon, you can’t leave it for months, because they’re down and some are more down then others and they just need a lift or a chill.”

There’s already a fair bit of interest in the event, the organisers said.

“By word of mouth, it’s just resonating through the farming community,” Mr Surtees said.

He urged the community to “just get off the farm and come and have three or four hours with us”.