Helping farmers shows true Christmas spirit

CHRISTMAS ANGEL: Christmas came early for drought-affected family Peta, Neisha and Joe Mooney, thanks to Paul Welling (back).
CHRISTMAS ANGEL: Christmas came early for drought-affected family Peta, Neisha and Joe Mooney, thanks to Paul Welling (back). Greg Miller

A HOME renovation job has become so much more than that for one Glastonbury family.

The new play room, office and laundry that now sit proudly at the rear of Joe and Peta Mooney's home represents something much bigger than their growing family and busy lives.

It's now a solid concrete and timber display of the wonderful community they are a part of.

The flow-on effects from drought hit the cattle-farming Mooney family hard in 2014 and they're still reeling as the year ends.

Instead of working on their future, the family faced day-to-day challenges, sleepless nights and endless stress.

The family of three had welcomed 2014 with thoughts of adding the new rooms to their home and it was hoped the renovations would be done by Christmas.

The new space would give their three-year-old daughter Neisha a place to play and alleviate Joe and Peta of the office encroaching on their bedroom.

However, heartbreaking circumstances and the painful results of drought meant the project, far from finished, was put on hold indefinitely.

Tools and furniture for the project cluttered the space around it - a sad reminder of what wasn't to be.

Until farrier Paul Welling came along.

The generous Widgee father was working on the Mooneys' horses when the state of the stalled renovations came up.


Mr Welling had just finished a renovation of his own and was inspired to keep going. Knowing he had a couple of weeks with little to do, Mr Welling started making phone calls. The result was nothing short of a Christmas fairytale.

Mr Welling rallied the support of building suppliers and tradesmen around town, with exceptional ease, to chip in and complete the work.

Exceptional generosity came from Sunshine Mitre 10, John Buckley Electrical, Cooloola Tile Company, Sherriff Electrical, Donovan Orrman Floor and Wall Tiling and a hard-working chippy who just wanted to go by the name James.

Mr Welling said he was blown away by how willing the local businesses were to lend a hand and as a result, three weeks later and countless hours put in by Mr Welling, the work was done and the Mooney family had a new space to spend Christmas - the first one Neisha spent with both parents at home instead of away working.

But all this good will didn't come from nothing.

The Mooneys have certainly done their bit in the community, especially this year when desperate farmers have called on them to urgently shift cattle from parched paddocks to ones in slightly better condition.

Gympie Times

Topics:  christmas drought gympie

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