Flooded with friendship
LYN and Leonard Johnston did not know Michael Kelly when he first pulled up outside their Ipswich home.
It was the Monday after last month’s flood waters had receded, and the Johnstons’ house had suffered extensive damage.
Mr Kelly had driven up from his Tweed Heads home eager to help out a family in need, and after a stretch of door-knocking found the Johnstons hard at work.
He decided to lend a hand, and a friendship began.
Mr Kelly has been back to help clean up and clear out the house on his spare weekends.
Mrs Johnston said his visits and the regular phone calls he made during the week to make sure they were okay had been a Godsend after losing everything in the floods.
“He’s just a wonderful man – he didn’t know us at all, and has just decided to help us out,” she said.
“Other people came from out of town to help clean up after the floods, but they haven’t been back like Michael.
“His visits and calls have been a tremendous support for us.”
Mr Kelly – who popped up with friend Glen Scaysbrook from Mt Tamborine on the weekend to mow the Johnstons’ lawns – said he just wanted to help a family in need.
With three children under the age of 14, one of whom has only recently finished chemotherapy, Mr Kelly said he wanted to set a good example for his children.
A police officer had told him Moores Pocket Rd could do with a hand, so that’s where he started doorknocking.
“Like a lot of people, I just wanted to help out in some way,” he said.
“I just pulled over and started to help out.”
Apart from the serious elbow grease Mr Kelly has put in at the property, the Johnstons also took kindly to his donations of long-life milk and a deck of cards – a great source of entertainment with the electricity out.
After building a firm friendship, the Johnstons and Mr Kelly are keen to get their families together for a big barbecue once the Moores Pocket house is back in shape.
“We’d just love to have his family over when it’s all done, just to say thanks for everything,” Mrs Johnston said.
“Despite everything that’s happened in the flood, there are some good stories out there.”
Mr Kelly said he was keen to take them up on the offer.