WHEN THE decision was made last week to open the Bowen PCYC for stranded travellers, the sun may not have been shining as the rain blocked the Bruce Highway, but the community spirit was certainly on show.
Within hours of the PCYC opening as a place of refuge, during this unusual rain event, members of the public turned up with bedding, movies, games and food!
Sergeant Michelle O’Regan manages the Bowen PCYC and she is also a committee member of Bowen Tourism and Business.
She was overwhelmed with the generosity of the people of Bowen, as travellers, along with their pets, took refuge inside the PCYC and in their own campervans and caravans in the carpark.
Well done Bowen and thank you to Whitsunday Regional Council and to Sergeant Michelle.
A big shout-out also to our Bowen Tourism and Business volunteers, who took on extra shifts to cover the staff and volunteers who were stuck on the wrong side of the flood waters.
Many of the travellers who were previously stranded have since been to visit us at the Big Mango Visitor Information Centre, on their way back through Bowen, and they have all been so positive about their experience.
Leanne Robinson and her family from Mackay called in to say thanks to the people of Bowen.
“We had an amazing experience,” she said.
“We were treated to wonderful hospitality and community spirit.”
It was an unusual amount of rain for January, as the average for Bowen is less than 200mm and many people recorded over 700m in four days.
The rain has now gone, and the sun is shining, along with the community spirit and country hospitality that Bowen is known for.
By Leanne Abernethy
Bowen Tourism and Business