News

Standing strong for the Whitsunday community

Sgt John Dickinson played a vital role in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.
Sgt John Dickinson played a vital role in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie. Rory Sheavils

SERGEANT John Dickinson barely slept for at least five days after Cyclone Debbie hit.

But while there was substantial damage to attend to at his Whitsunday home, his first priority in the direct aftermath of the cyclone was helping others.

Sgt Dickinson, who runs the Whitsunday PCYC, ensured the club operated as a make-shift Evacuation Recovery Centre, which with the help of the Red Cross and Salvation Army was able to cater food-wise for between 250-300 people including tradies, volunteers and people who lost their homes.

Mr Dickinson said the emotional toll suffered by many in the community was palpable.

"It's a major event and caused a lot of damage and just shows the community spirit and how well smaller communities band together and work together to help each other out," he said.

"At one stage we had someone come from Dingo Beach who collapsed here at the hall and paramedics sorted her out and gave her a meal because she hadn't eaten for a couple of days.

"We were having people coming to the club and breaking down in tears because they lost everything."

The Whitsunday PCYC, which has stood strong since Sgt Dickinson established it in 2002, took a battering from the inside, with himself, Cr Ron Petterson, the PCYC-run Youth Management Team members and parents hard at work for three and-a-half days to tidy up and resolve the water damage.

"There has been talk that from the outside PCYC didn't sustain much damage but when you get inside it's a different picture," Sgt Dickinson said.

"I set the club up from scratch in 2002 and it is pretty disheartening to see."

In light of damage caused to the club, Mr Dickinson said it could take until November before it returned back to normal.

But despite the chaos stemming from the aftermath, PCYC has still been able to organise a range of regular gymnastic activities from the Kipara hall.

Whitsunday Film Musical and Theatrical Society CEO Steve Wickett was one of many in the community who could see first-hand the role "Sgt John" had played in the community.

"Thank you John, and thanks to your amazing team for what you do for our community," he posted on Facebook.

"I know there are many like John, who put on a brave face and are rebuilding their lives, hats off to you all."

Mr Dickinson said he wanted to acknowledge the many other heroes who helped in the aftermath including the Police, Army, Salvation Army, Queensland Fire Service, Whitsunday Regional Council and more.

Topics:  cyclone debbie whitsunday pcyc


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Medals at nationals

Hawken.

Local man swoops medals at Masters carnival.

Sea Eagles downed in Swans thriller

CLOSE: Sea Eagles player Jared Campbell (pictured earlier this year).

One point loss for Whitsunday Sea Eagles.

Mural removal sparks debate

The Airlie Beach public toilet mural which has created debate.

Airlie Beach public toilet mural creates debate.

Local Partners

Young bulls on right track

The new Whitsunday Brahmans Under-19s are looking like premiership contenders with each passing week.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Take luxury food, wine tour around Toowoomba

FOODIE CULTURE: Emily Moon (left) and Cheryse Bliesner with the Hummer used for Toowoomba's Luxury Food and Wine Tour.

It is designed to highlight the best produce the region has to offer

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Game of Thrones: Crucial details you probably forgot

IT’S been a while since we’ve been to Westeros. But there are some crucial story points you need to remember before we head back there for season seven.

Pregnant Serena Williams nude on cover of Vanity Fair

"My heart dropped. Like literally it dropped,”

Wonder Woman sequel underway

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

IT’S no surprise plans are already underway for Wonder Woman 2.

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef.

NICOLE Stevenson narrowly misses out on MasterChef's Top 10.

Thor on holiday: Chris Hemsworth is here!

If you didn't know who he was - you'd think he was a local

Agent judged among the world's best

Century 21 on Duporth principal Damien Said with team members Ryan Tomlinson, Jamie Smith, Kristie Cannon, Andrew Richardson and Sarah Beckman at the Maroochydore office.

Sunshine Coast real estate agent named in world-wide group's top 25

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Gateway opens to $3b Coast mega estate

VISION: An artist's impression of the Palmview development 'Harmony' and its linear park.

New road provides link from the past to the future

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!