'Helping out is just what they do'

GOOD MATES: Riverton man Joe Dawson wants to thank the Riverton community for help fixing his roof.
GOOD MATES: Riverton man Joe Dawson wants to thank the Riverton community for help fixing his roof.

Sometimes all it takes is a "dig out from your mates" and a little help from the community to make life a little easier.

Riverton man Joe Dawson was humbled by the help he received from his mates and the community when his house needed a roof.

Mr Dawson was left blind after an accident in 2005 and a medical incident in 2009.

The former sawmill worker said when he lost his sight, he lost everything that went with it but he was determined to just get on with life, and having good mates helped him stay positive.

He had not gone looking for a handout because that was not the sort of person he was, he said.

Fixing his roof started out as "just mates helping mates" but soon more of the community got involved, replacing the roof and bringing smokos for the workers.

His mate George Pollard had given him a dig out a few times when the roof of his house started leaking.

Mr Pollard patched it up a few times before telling Mr Dawson the roof had its day and needed to be replaced.

However, when Mr Dawson was told how much it would cost to get materials, he asked if work could be done on the roof in stages, over a period of time.

"It was just not affordable," Mr Dawson said.

When Mr Pollard told Calder Stewart about the situation, they sold iron for the roof at a "good discounted price".

Mr Dawson wanted to thank Calder Stewart and the community for everything they had done.

"Thank you is a small word for a big thing."

He praised the tight-knit Riverton community, who also helped him out when he lost his sight, for their support.

"They are a good community made up of awesome businesses, clubs and residents - helping out is just what they do," he said.

Mr Pollard said about 10 construction workers from the Riverton community offered to help him replace the roof for free and neighbours also helped.

"It was a real community effort with the spirit of the people and the good will of Calder Stewart," Mr Pollard said.

The Southland Times