Rural

Rodeo for suicide prevention a chance to buck the blues

RODEO READY: CRCA’s Dale Bougoure and A Mile in Their Shoes president Jack Lumby ahead of this weekend’s Proserpine Lions Rodeo for Suicide Prevention.
RODEO READY: CRCA’s Dale Bougoure and A Mile in Their Shoes president Jack Lumby ahead of this weekend’s Proserpine Lions Rodeo for Suicide Prevention. Matthew Newton

AS WITH so much else that is good in this world, the road to Friday's Proserpine Lions Rodeo for Suicide Prevention began with a terrible tragedy.

In November last year, the Whitsunday Bald Eagles ran a suicide awareness walk - A Mile in Their Shoes - as part of their yearly community project.

To promote the day, they recorded a version of the song, Walk a Mile in My Shoes. "The day we recorded the song, just having a bit of fun, a friend killed himself," A Mile in Their Shoes president Jack Lumby said. At the funeral, Mr Lumby met old friends he hadn't seen in years. "And they were emotional shells of their former beings," he said.

"They (suicides) scar our souls, take our spirit away.

"(The friends and relatives are) left carrying that burden with them and you can see it."

Several months later, another of Mr Lumby's friends' lives was tragically cut short.

Again, Mr Lumby found himself asking that question which only his friend could have answered: Why?

"We were mates," Mr Lumby said.

"I spent several cyclones with him when I got stuck at Shute and I couldn't get home.

"We used to sit on his veranda with a bottle of rum and watch the cyclone, then get back to Shute (Harbour) and keep an eye on it.

"My wife's out the other side. He'd always make sure that we could get in touch with my family.

"We solved all the problems of the world."

A Mile In Their Shoes, which started as an awareness afternoon, has in less than 10 months evolved into a not-for-profit organisation raising money to help prevent suicide in the Whitsunday region.

"We're making a stand as a little town to keep our mates and our mates' kids alive," Mr Lumby said.

"How can something be 10 times worse than our local road toll and it's hidden under the covers?

"It's not just us, it's the whole Mackay area."

The A Mile in Their Shoes Bullarama earlier this year drew thousands of people, as well as raising much-needed money for suicide awareness training.

The Bullarama, Mr Lumby said, was beyond the group's wildest dreams.

"We never thought we'd be able to do something as big as that." But they did, and the Central Rodeo Cowboys Association (CRCA) was so impressed they decided to bring their finals to the Whitsundays, starting this Friday.

The funds from the weekend's family-friendly rodeo will be returned to the community in the form of lifeline training.

Of the work that's been done so far, Mr Lumby said he believed at least five lives had been saved by having people with training in the right place at the right time.

As he helped CRCA's Dale Bougoure piece together the ring on Monday afternoon, Mr Lumby said he was "massively proud" of his community and the help they had received from local businesses.

For more information, visit: www.centralrodeo. com.au/finals_2015.htm

If you or someone you know has been affected by issues raised in this article, contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

READY TO RUMBLE

What: Proserpine Lions Rodeo for Suicide Prevention featuring the Central Rodeo Cowboys Association Finals.

Where: Corner of Shute Harbour Road and Galbraith Park Drive, Cannonvale.

When: Friday evening from 6pm. Saturday from 11am. Sunday's trophy presentation from 9am.

Tickets: Friday and Saturday night - Adults $15, Kids $10. Saturday Family Fun Day (11am - 4.30pm) Adults $15 and kids free.

Topics:  bull riding, rodeo, rural

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

RESULTS: Show Whitsunday 2016

Kendell Davies with her horse Chino during the ribbon presentation at this year's Show Whitsunday.

The results of the 2016 Show Whitsunday are in.

Free fun set up for kids these school holidays

FREE FUN: Gretel Wright, 5, Jordan Holt, 8 and Zion Holt, 9, getting crafty at the Cannonvale Library.

Kids can get involved in free activities these school holidays

Top 5 rides for family show fun

READY: Whitsunday Times and Whitsunday Coast Guardian journalists, Inge Hansen and Dane Lillingstone standing in front of the Speed 2 ride at Show Whitsunday on Saturday night. Photo contributed.

We've brought you the best rides at Show Whitsunday.

Latest deals and offers

Aviation fire fighter union says passenger safety is at risk

Proserpine Airport would be due to receive a dedicated Aviation Rescue Firefighting Service, but this will be delayed by up to 15 years proposal goes ahead.

RESULTS: Show Whitsunday 2016

Kendell Davies with her horse Chino during the ribbon presentation at this year's Show Whitsunday.

The results of the 2016 Show Whitsunday are in.

Circus workshop rolls into town

TRICKS: Karyn Smith and Marguerite Peach of Sensory Circus Tribe. Photo: Darryn Smith/Sunshine Coast Daily

Circus workshop rolls into town

Store manager: 'Thieves put food down their trousers'

SICK OF SHOPLIFTING: North Mackay IGA manager Brian Gibson keeps a close eye on the CCTV footage in his office and has introduced a wall of shame for shoplifters.

Region's thefts increase 66% since mining boom peaked

Thirty years at the show and still going strong

ON SHOW: Elieen Cameron at the show on Saturday.Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times

Eileen Cameron has been volunteering at Show Whitsunday for 30 years

Woodchopper shows his strength

CHOP IT: Furlyn Barrett took out the championship title of the wood chopping competitions on both Friday and Saturday at Show Whitsunday. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Furlyn Barrett took out the woodchop championship at Show Whitsunday

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Woodchop competition

Woodchop competitors at Show Whitsunday on Saturday afternoon.

Miniature pigs race to finish

Eight Australian miniature pigs raced to the finish line at Show Whitsunday on...

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%