Vinnies stock goes up in blaze

By Brittany Murphy and John McLaurin

St Vincent de Paul’s ACT CEO Paul Trezise, has praised the generosity of the wider Goulburn community in the aftermath of the fire, which completely destroyed the city’s Auburn Street store in the early hours of Monday, June 27.

In the wake of the fire, a second St Vincent de Paul office was set up at 25-31 Verner Street and the office of Goulburn MP Pru Goward also acted as a drop-off point.

Goulburn Fire 1“The community has been very generous in responding to our call and offering to help,” Mr Trezise said in the days following the inferno.

Significant donations from the Crookwell and Yass stores came in and offerings of support also made their way from Canberra.

No salvageable stock was left after the blaze, with the charity organisation losing tonnes of donated clothing and goods in the fire.

“The stock looks very badly damaged in terms of smoke and water damage and I don’t think there is much we will be able to recover from that unfortunately,” Mr Trezise told the Goulburn Post.

Mr Trezise said it would be at least three months before a secure retail store was up and running, although the organisation would begin investigating other properties for their retail store.

“We’ve started to look at that because we would like to reestablish as soon as possible. We are talking to the building owner about how long it would take him to refurbish his site in Auburn St, it looks as though that will be quite a long time,” he said.

“Of more concern to us is that the shop provides a very important resource for our local volunteer conference group.”

“They issue gift cards to people and those people go in and get anything they might need – warm winter clothing, blankets and bedding materials.

Some 40 people volunteer at the Goulburn St Vincent’s between the retail store and conference centre.

The immediate priority continues to be gathering enough donations to help the conference group throughout winter.

“We would greatly appreciate donations of blankets and good quality winter clothing to give to people when they call on us for assistance,” said Mr Trezise.