Duo offers shelter for stranded

GENEROUS DUO: Lex Iker (right) and Tony Richmond offered their new accommodation camp to flood victims for free. sg-120111-011
GENEROUS DUO: Lex Iker (right) and Tony Richmond offered their new accommodation camp to flood victims for free. sg-120111-011

IT’S been said that over the past few weeks the Central Highlands community has shown its true heart, uniting in a show of overwhelming selflessness and kindness, and performing acts of great generosity, despite the suffering.

One shining example is Lex and Jo Iker, whose family has lived on the property Euneeke - 43km south-west of Springsure - for 85 years.

For the past three years, Mr Iker and brother-in-law Tony Richmond have been building an Emerald-based accommodation camp.

Despite suffering extensive damage to their own properties, the pair has offered the newly completed units to Emerald flood victims free of charge.

“It was originally built for miners, but with all that’s happened, we thought we’d better give council a call and offer its use for those in need,” Mr Iker said.

“We had approximately 50 people in there for about three to four days.”

Mr Iker pointed to his longstanding relationship with the Highlands community as a reason for his unassuming generosity.

The Iker family has been in the Springsure area for more than 100 years, with five generations calling the land home.

Lex was a councillor for nine years in the former Bauhinia Shire, now part of the Central Highlands, and said he owed much to the community that has seen five generations of his family grow up.

He said his grandfather originally bought Euneeke and the recent floodwaters were about 1.2m higher than anyone in his family had seen before.

“It was a pretty eerie sight,” he said.

“There was quite a lot of damage, we lost 16 dams that we know of, about 40km of fencing and a fair bit of other stuff.”

“It was a pretty eerie sight.” Lex Iker

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