Vandals have no conscience
By ED SOUTHORN
WHILE the Red Cross works to harness donations for the Asian tsunami victims, vandals in Murwillumbah have wrecked the roof of the Red Cross building in Knox Park.
The cost of replacing about 100 roof tiles from the landmark hall - a regular target for juvenile vandals - will offset the value of Red Cross donations generously offered by Murwillumbah resi- dents for the tsunami crisis.
Vandals smashed the roof tiles and a window of the 50-year-old building on Friday, December 17, only hours before fire units attended a small blaze in the park. The next day, SES volunteers re-arranged unbroken tiles on the hall roof and placed a tarpaulin over the damaged roof section.
Vandals returned to the hall on the night of Thursday, December 23, and attempted to remove the tarpaulin - but they were interrupted by a bystander in the park.
SES volunteers were back at the hall on Christmas Eve, re-fixing the tarpaulin.
Red Cross Murwillumbah president Robyn McBeath yesterday revealed the hall's insurance policy excess was greater than the cost of repairing the roof.
This means the Red Cross regional office will probably have to pay to fix the roof.
"What a waste of money, especially when so much is needed to help the tsunami victims," Mrs McBeath said.
Local donors to the Red Cross for the tsunami appeal can be assured their money will assist the Asian relief effort, but Mrs McBeath said paying for vandalism was the last thing the Red Cross needed right now.
"The roof on the hall had only just been renovated," she said.