Byron Bay Rugby launch their new campaign, Byron Bay Rugby Community Projects, where the team help out and volunteer for good in the community.
A local business owner who has suffered at an act of violence has been aided by Byron Bay Rugby Club after she fell victim to premeditated arson.
On the 6th February a 34 year old man from the Gold Coast who was living on the property at Hidden Valley suffered from a moment of madness and set parts of the homestay alight, causing a mass fire and turning the property into ashes, debris and disaster. The man, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, drove off leaving the fire to rage before driving his vehicle off an embankment. Moments later the Police and Paramedics were called after the vehicle had been spotted. He then made comment to the Police about the blaze which is when the fire brigade was called. The accused is currently being held at Lismore prison without bail pending his upcoming court date.
Owner of Hidden Valley Homestay, Vici Burgess was devastated by the destruction.
“I was in shock for weeks” she said. “It was the final chink in a chain of bad events for me. I didn’t know what to do or where to go from there.”
Two months later the damaged debris and ruins had still not been cleared. Ms Burgess was in the process of finalising her new business, Byron Bay Horse Reiki Retreat, before the heartbreaking incident.
“Lots of people had offered to help after the arson but unfortunately no one followed through with their offers.” said Ms Burgess.
It was not until one of the players from Byron Bay Rugby had heard of the incident that someone sought to help. Starting in March of this year, Byron Bay Rugby launched their new campaign, Byron Bay Rugby Community Projects, where the team help out and volunteer for good causes in the community.
“Byron Bay Rugby Community Projects was something the club has wanted to get started for a while. It was shocking hearing the news of what had happened to Vici [Burgess] and her business. This was something that we felt was the perfect place to start.” said project manager Andy Teuma
Armed with tools, boots and gloves, the Byron Bay Rugby players boarded the team bus and travelled to Rosebank last Saturday to get their hands dirty. Ms. Burgess couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I was told they [Byron Bay Rugby] were coming but it wasn’t until I saw them walking down the driveway with sledgehammers, shovels and tools that a wave of relief had come over me. It was as if the bad energy was lifting from the place.”
“I was pretty excited I must admit, but what girl wouldn’t be having a group of men laboring for them”
It took the group of Rugby players just over 2 hours to complete the task, which would have taken most a few days. It was definitely a case of many hands make light work.
“It looked amazing!” explained Ms. Burgess. “I wasn’t expecting the amount of work they got through. The guys did more than I could have asked for, now I can go and rebuild a lot sooner on a new slate”
It wasn’t all work though as the players enjoyed the serenity of the area and made use of the fresh stream to wash after.
“It was great to get involved and really help someone who was struggling. These projects are all about the team giving back and supporting the community, especially after the support we’ve received when on the pitch” .
Vici Burgess ended with a message to Byron Bay Rugby.
“I want to say a massive thank you and tap on the bums to the guys for being big-hearted and generous in giving up their day to help.”
Byron Bay Rugby Clubs first game of the season is against Lismore City RFC, Sat 23 April, 2:45 pm at the Recreation Grounds, Tennyson St.