I read that Brad McCabe, a young man in his 20s, left Albury last Saturday to paddle a canoe 2200 kilometres down the great Murray River to Goolwa in South Australia (The Border Mail, January 6).
Three years ago Brad’s brother Tom took his own life and this is Brad’s way of making people aware of suicide and the devastating effect it can have.
I love the Murray River. My family has a strong connection to the Murray at the top end in Albury, just below the Hume dam where the river is crystal clear, bone-chilling cold and very fast.
My grandmother was born in Albury in 1900 and her parents (my great grandparents) and their large brood lived in a tin hut on the banks of the Murray at the Leanie in West Albury from the 1920s until they were forced to leave in the 1960. My four granddaughters who live in Queensland are in Albury on holiday at the moment doing what they love and that is swimming each day in the river at Noreuil Park.
When I see the name Murray River it piques my interest and I read the accompanying story. I reminisce about the decades I spent swimming in the swift icy current and getting up to mischief on the banks of the Mighty Murray. At the age of 13 I was allowed to swim until sundown and I was a daredevil and a show-off as a teenager. By the time I was 21, I was the mother of two small boys and I used to pick the boys up after school and go straight in the river after school each day.
Brad McCabe will raise money for Beyond Blue, the mental health charity that helps people who suffer from depression.
Nearly all of us know of someone who has been so depressed and miserable that they want to take their own life They can see no other way out of the big black hole of depression they find themselves in.
People need to recognise the cues a loved one or a friend reveals when they feel suicidal.
Sometimes the person who is considering suicide needs to talk to a person that has been trained in the medical profession to diagnose and treat clinical depression. In many cases if intervention is offered in time the person can continue on with their life after being treated successfully with medication.
Brad McCabe has raised more than $14,000 so far for Beyond Blue and will continue to accept donations from supporters all the way down the magnificent Murray River to Goolwa.
Liz Haydon, Brisbane
Shade sails a saviour
On behalf of Albury-Wodonga Animal Rescue, we would like to sincerely thank the team at Bunnings, Albury, for the recent donation of two shade sails.
We were able to install the sails before Christmas and already, they have made a huge difference to the dogs currently in foster care. Not only do the dogs now have some much-needed shade to protect them during the coming hot Summer months, but the shade provided also keeps their paddle pools cool – an absolute must during January and February.
Without community support such as this, not-for-profit charities such as ours wouldn’t be able to continue in the capacity we do and when it comes to making the dogs that bit more happy and comfortable while rehabilitating or waiting for their forever homes, a donation such as this one is received with the most heartfelt gratitude.
With best wishes for 2018 and our thanks again.