What is it about Blackall and sporting activities that bring on the rain?
A few days after Christmas last year the western Queensland town hit the headlines when locals ignored the rain falling all around and decided to go ahead with a modified version of their traditional seven-a-side charity cricket match.
Their enthusiasm for playing on through the downpour went around the country, along with comments like “Only in Australia!”
It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone on the weekend when another charity event – this time a rugby league game between Blackall’s mighty Magpies and the Moranbah Miners – was played as rain once again tumbled down.
The irony of it all was that the game was raising money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners drought relief efforts.
A number of people in the community were recipients of their generosity in January when the record-breaking drive delivered hundreds of bales of hay to hungry stock.
One of the organisers, John Turlan said the friendly game had been a way to raise money and repay some of the generosity shown to them.
Around 35 people from the mining town of Moranbah made the trek around their own flooded roads –they were about to record their highest daily February rainfall ever, of 169mm – to bring Blackall some cheer.
Moranbah’s Nadia McMillan said it had been something the two communities had wanted to do for ages.
“We play a lot of rep footy over here and it hasn’t fitted into our calendar before this, but everyone had a really good time,” she said.
“I think we did a good thing for the community – we split up on Sunday morning and had breakfast at different places to share things around.”
Organisers expect to donate over $5000 to the Hay Runners after the weekend. As well as a donation of $500 from the Isaac Regional Council, they received a $300 donation from NAB and $1000 from Dyno Nobel, which went towards providing a free barbecue for Saturday’s footy patrons.
For the record, Moranbah won the game but no-one was keeping score.