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Local Businesses and Lockdown

For some local businesses lock down has meant shutting down, for others business is happening as usual, with the addition of masks and check ins. Others have added a creative flourish or two just for the current times.

Last Sunday the Upper Horton Sport and Recreation Club delivered pizzas to locals for the very first time. Deb and Sam McDouall from “Lowana” said pizza delivery to the family property would have astonished the previous generations of Lowana McDoualls, and it surprised them too.

At 10 km from the Club (50km from Barraba and 31 km from Bingara) it certainly was unexpected to receive home delivery. The McDoualls met delivery man Jason Mack at the mailbox to save him the 3km driveway at least. Deb McDouall it wasn’t just the novelty that was special, the pizzas tasted great too.

The pizza night was designed by the Club to give the Upper Horton community a lift during lockdown. 80 pizzas were made and delivered. The run was done in stages, out to Terry Hie Hie turnoff, Bingara/Upper Bingara and within the valley. Two Club board members and Club Manager Lindsay Hagan (with Elvis the dog) were the volunteer drivers, while Brianna Mack made the pizzas. Club Secretary Helen Graves said it was a massive effort too, with everyone exhausted on Monday.

Helen adds, “Without the support of member volunteers, we would have had to close for lockdown. 

“Our staff are predominantly based in a different LGA (Tamworth) and have been unable to work. As they did last year, our members downed tools and stepped in to help.”

Kylie Kallitsis also thought of a way to adapt to the current situation and brighten up lockdown for locals. Kylie says, “Each year on August 27, the Greek Orthodox faithful bake a cake in honour of Saint Fanourios.” Fanourios (said fah-NOO-ree-os) comes from the Greek verb fanerono, which means “I reveal.” He is the saint for lost things. Kylie says, “The faithful believe he can help them find what they’re looking for, be it a lost object, a future spouse, or even a new meaning in life. They bribe/thank him with a Fanouropita cake, a “cake for lost things,” when they are in search of something lost or something they want to find.

Kylie baked and sold the traditional Fanouropita cakes, which were enthusiastically purchased by locals. The cakes are flavoured with orange, cinnamon, clove with raisins and walnuts. Customers enjoyed both the cake and the story. Kylie says the pattern on top of the cakes was made using a lace doily made for her glory box by her Yia Yia in Greece. 

Local food business “Queen Street Cafe Takeaway” is still trading, almost as usual, although times are hard. Co-owner Mel Mathieson says, “It’s tough. Things have been quiet but we are thankful we have our business in Queensland to help out. We take every day as it comes and just hope that the lock down and mask wearing ends soon.”

Mel says their customers have been fantastic with wearing masks and checking in. “We have provided a few of our customers with the new QR check-in cards for those without the internet to help them with checking in at other venues with a computerised check-in option.” Mel says she and Craig are thinking of everyone else who is doing it tough during this time.

At Inland Petroleum it’s been almost business as usual. Manager Shaun Faulkner says, “We are still seeing reasonable trade as a good number of our customers are either essential workers fuelling for work, or workers providing essential services which has allowed us to continue trading as normal as possible considering the circumstances. Shaun adds that fortunately, “The vast majority of customers have been really accepting of the procedures in place.” By Jane Harris

Peter and Adrienne Hancock
Pizzas from the Upper Horton Sports Club delivered to Farms and homes
Martin Unwin on Queen Street.