Brian Farnsworth, Harden NSW
“I don’t care if I’m there for three days and get one person come through – I might have stopped that one person from wrapping themselves around a tree.”
Every public holiday, Brian Farnsworth puts out the seven flags, banners and signs at Harden Driver Reviver site on Albury St in the southwest slopes of NSW.
He and wife Dorothy have been involved in the program, which was operated by the State Emergency Service (SES) until 2020, for 22 years. They have run it under Rotary for the past three years.
A busy site located at the end of a state-of-the-art medical centre, a new electronic sign guiding travellers off the road has bumped up visitation.
So far this year, about 400 people have pulled in for a cuppa, a snack and to stretch their legs.
Brian, 75, ensures the site is open for public holidays like Australia Day and the end of school holidays to help stressed parents travelling home before school starts.
From ice blocks for kids in summer to jokes with grownups, Brian’s aim is to get a laugh out of people: “If I do that, then I’m quite happy for the rest of the day”
“As far as Driver Reviver goes, I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s helping someone else, and if I can spoil some kids that come in, I’m going to do it. Kids see the Tiny Teddies and they’ll just look at you and the parents will take a couple of packets. But there’s half a dozen kids and you think: `That’s no good – that won’t feed them all’, so you give them a few more, and that makes everyone happy.”
As well as the annual get together with other Driver Reviver co-ordinators, another highlight for Brian is seeing return visitors and meeting new people.
“One woman that sticks in my mind was on her own travelling all over the countryside in a little A-frame caravan.
Another time, we had closed up, the place was in darkness and the three of us there at the time were out the front door when this car pulls up and a middle-aged woman gets out and says she’d love to get a cup of tea or coffee. We said: `Of course’ – anything to help and get them to stop.”