Mackay’s Legendary Neighbours recognised

Published: 26 Mar 2021

When the Mallet family’s European holiday was cancelled due to COVID-19, their amazing neighbours stepped up and brought Europe to them.

The residents of Seafarer Court, Blacks Beach organised a progressive dinner where each house became a different country from the Mallet family’s itinerary.

It was this selfless act and countless others, that lead to Seafarer Court being presented with one of two council My Legendary Neighbour Awards this afternoon (Friday, March 26).

“From food, to outfits, to drinks, to decorations at every house – it was absolutely amazing,” said Deb Mallet, who nominated her street for the award.

Mayor Greg Williamson, who presented the award along with a 35-person barbecue pack from Mackay Wholesale Meats, said it wasn’t the only time the street had rallied behind one of its families.

“One of the crew turned 40 while he was away in New South Wales visiting family,” Mayor Williamson said.

“They had a rough trip – COVID and rain ruined their caravanning plans, and their family became very ill while they were away,” he said.

“But when the family returned, the street put together an amazing 40th birthday celebration, including everyone dressing up as him, complete with bald heads and matching printed singlets.”

The Mayor said the My Legendary Neighbour awards were an initiative of council to celebrate Neighbour Day (March 28).

“Residents simply had to nominate their legendary neighbour and tell us why they were worthy of recognition,” he said.

“Honestly, we were blown away by the outpouring of community spirit – we received 52 nominations and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the selection committee read through some of the nominations.”

Mayor Williamson said one of the most heart-warming examples was the second award winner, the Sanim family, who he presented with a Deli Nook share platter.

“Nominated by their neighbour Heather Arnold, Donna and Mark Sanim are examples of neighbours who over time become family,” he said.

In her nomination, Ms Arnold described how she lost her husband Don recently and it was the Sanims who helped her through.

“After many hospital visits, Don sadly passed away last year, and it was Donna (Sanim) who jumped into the ambulance to give him one last kiss on the forehead before we drove off,” she said.

“I also have happy memories of Don shuffling over to deliver some home-made biscuits or cakes for the Sanims and sharing many cups of coffee together.

“This family have given us literally hundreds of hours of service, for no cost, just out of the generosity of their hearts.

“They have maintained our lawn for more than 10 years when they could see it was too much for my husband and I.

“They’ve pressure cleaned fences, driveways and footpaths, brought in bins and collected mail when I’m away, driven me to hospital, collected my groceries during COVID, fixed my smoke alarms and put in drainage pipes in my back yard.

“They check in on a regular basis, just to check on my wellbeing.

“I continually offer to pay but they never accept.

“This family truly is the epitome of the best neighbours.”

Neighbour Day on Sunday, March 28, is Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with their neighbours. The theme for 2021 is “Every day is neighbour day”.