An act of kindness
by Cecil Wagstaff
Broken Hill (BHQ) is an amazing town, here is my own story which is true, and shows how caring the people there really are ….even to total strangers. It is a relatively small Mining Country Town in the far Outback of N.S.W, Australia.
I arrived at BHQ Airport on a Flight from Adelaide to connect to Sydney with several (six) hours to wait for my onward flight.
I was in the Airport waiting Area reading, when a gentleman approached me. He advised me that it was customary to close the Airport as no one was there till an hour before my Sydney Flight Departure. He was operating the helicopter which was taking a nurse further into the Outback, and would not return till very much later that evening. He also owned and operated of Café at the Airport, which was also closing for the time.
He asked me what I would do.
I said having no choice I would just have to wait outside the locked Airport
He then tossed a Bunch of Keys to me and said, there is my Ute (Aussie Term for a Car with a Flat Tray at the Back like a mini-Truck) parked at the back…….take it and drive around town), as it is worth visiting. The Mine is right down the Middle of the Town which is divided by it, in a massive Hill, on both sides . …….and worth visiting. The Railway Museum is worth a visit as was the Tourist Centre and the Pro Hart Art Gallery, and other places of Interest including a spectacular Monument to Miners who lost their lives. The Buildings are early Federation (1901).
I was astounded at this….he did not know me from a Bar of Soap….and I said this……..!!!!!!
When I asked where I could refuel the Ute before returning it to where it was…he said, please do NOT bother…..see that Petrol Pump just inside the Airport Perimeter, I own the Petrol Distribution for BHQ, just leave the Ute where you found it with Keys in the Car.
I had a great time, driving around with folk looking at the Stranger Driver, knowing it was not the owner who was well known to them.
That is true Country Hospitality in the Outback…..Unbelievable but every word is true….I have experienced it personally…………………..Only in Australia !!!!!!