THE long road to recovery for Garvoc sheep farmer Angus McGillivery and his family has become a little bit easier, thanks to a donation of farming equipment.
The Rotary Club of Terang officially donated the Arrowquip portable sheep loading equipment which is worth about $11,500, as part of a fundraising effort within the local district.
Mr McGillivery said it had been a “tough” nine months since fires razed his family’s home and killed most of his flock last March.
“It (the new equipment) gives us hope that we can move forward to renew again,” he said.
Mr McGillivery, his wife Heather and their five children aged from eight to 22 years old were sitting in their pyjamas getting ready for bed, before they became aware their property was in danger around 9.45pm on St Patrick’s Day.
The family took refuge at his sister’s house in Terang and has stayed at the Terang Presbyterian Church manse since.
The fire heavily impacted Mr McGillivery’s flock, with only 53 out of 1000 sheep left following the blaze.
Mr McGillivery said he and his family lived their day-to-day life at the Terang Presbyterian Church manse, while he travelled to their Garvoc property to re-establish their sheep flock.
He said without a shed on the property, having the portable loading equipment would make operations easier.
“It just makes these things achievable,” Mr McGillivery said.
Terang Co-op chief executive officer Kevin Ford said the organisation was happy to facilitate the distribution of the Arrowquip equipment.
“It’s a pleasure for us to be a part of it,” he said.
Arrowquip area manager Russell Cunningham said the equipment would allow the farm to begin to return to normal.
“This will be a crucial part to its (the farm’s) operations,” he said.
Rotary Club of Terang secretary Kerry Hicks said the McGillivery family was a worthy recipient of the funds.
“Having lost all of their housing, shedding, equipment and many of their stock, the much-needed handling equipment will help the family toward getting them back on their feet,” he said.
“The funds were raised by Rotary District 9780 with contributions from supporters, members and clubs in the local region.”