Good deed helps father and son reconnect after house fire
WHEN fire destroyed a house at 14 Park St earlier this month Greg Hines lost his most valued possession.
Mr Hines, who is known as Norm, used an iPad to talk to his three-year-old son who lives in the Philippines.
Yesterday Mr Hines received a new iPad, given to him by Harvey Norman, Ipswich.
Harvey Norman Ipswich computer franchisee Chris Hard said he was particularly moved by Mr Hines's story.
"I read about the fire in the QT and what happened to Norm really touched me," he said.
"That he couldn't talk to his little boy, that was really moving. I was just so happy to be able to do something to help."
Mr Hard was contacted by Rodney Smith, who works with Mr Hines at the Churchill Abattoir.
"After the fire I went to Norm and I asked him what he lost in the fire. He said the thing that meant to most to him was losing his iPad, which he used so much to communicate," Mr Smith Said.
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"I rang Harvey Norman just to ask. I was half expecting them to say no, and in this economy I don't think anyone would have blamed them.
"But they didn't hesitate to help."
Mr Hines said the gift meant the world to him.
"More than anything I want to be able to talk to my little boy," he said.
Mr Hard said Harvey Norman would also be offering Mr Hines a free lesson in how to get the most out of the tablet.
Mr Hines was one of seven people living in the three units contained in the house. An appeal for the people affected by the fire was started by Mayor Paul Pisasale through the Mayor's Community Fund.
The appeal can be donated through the Ipswich Mayor's Community Fund Inc; Bendigo Bank; BSB 633-000 and account number 128672318 and referencing the "Park Street fire".