Earlier this year, the residents of the St George nursing home Warrawee lost their abode and belongings when the Balonne River swelled to over 13.95m, flooding the small town.
Their new nursing home is currently being rebuilt however is not due for completion until late 2012.
As a result the residents have been temporarily housed on the Gold Coast for the past seven months and on Saturday, July 14 they enjoyed the good, old-fashioned hospitality of the Gold Coast Turf Club, when they opened their doors for a day at the races.
Unfortunately, persistent rain resulted in the local race meeting being cancelled due to the state of the track; however the club hosted a phantom meeting for patrons wanting to enjoy a day out.
The weather did little to dampen the spirits of the St George residents who arrived in fine style in a white stretch limousine, which was for most of them, their first time in a limousine.
The experience didn’t stop there as they were welcomed in to the Gold Coast Turf Club boardroom and enjoyed a sumptuous buffet lunch before being interviewed by the Channel 7 team.
To top their day out off, local bookmaker Peter Laird provided betting vouchers for the residents, but unbeknown to him, they knew their form inside and out and backed the winner and placings in one race, near emptying the bookmaker’s bag.
Gold Coast Turf Club chairman Brett Cook said the Gold Coast Turf Club was delighted to host the St George residents on Saturday.
“We hope that we’re helping to spread the message that St George is well on the way to recovery and the town is open for business.
“I am looking forward to attending the City to the Bush meeting and seeing firsthand the great work done by the St George community.”
St George will host their local races this weekend, July 21 when City to the Bush descend upon the small town for the country meeting existing of six races including the $8700 St George Cup.
City to the Bush is the brainchild of organisations Channel Seven, Salva Resources, Avmin, Nova 106.9, Coca-Cola and Brisbane Racing Club Ltd who paid up the prizemoney for the extra race to be included on the standard five race card.
Two charted planes will fly out to St George early Saturday morning carrying 100 business and racing identities for morning tea at Riversands Winery followed by a day at the races returning for Brisbane at 5:30pm.
To make sure you don’t miss the big event, visit the stgeorgeraces.com.au website for all your information.
Photo courtesy Gold Coast Turf Club