Good samaritan: Tom Holder is opening his home to stranded holidaymakers.
Good samaritan: Tom Holder is opening his home to stranded holidaymakers. Linda Gleeson

Man opens home to the stranded

FOR the past week, Woolgoolga retiree Tom Holder has been devastated as he’s watched the unfolding flood events in Queensland and northern NSW.

In response he’s opened his doors and is happy to welcome stranded Queenslanders who have been caught up in the floods and are unable to get home.

The father of four is used to extended stays when his family comes to visit and ‘at a pinch’ can sleep up to six people in his home.

He first contacted The Advocate on Tuesday when the highway was cut at Halfway Creek and he was worried holidaymakers would be unable to make it home.

“I thought people could have come down here during the holidays and couldn’t get home, especially when the highway was closed,” he said.

“When Halfway Creek came up I thought there was limited accommodation in Woolgoolga and it wouldn’t hurt me to give someone a bed for a couple of nights.

“I know what it is like with a family and at the end of the holidays when you are usually pretty broke.”

Mr Holder has been a JP since 1971 and was a senior public servant before he retired in 1999.

He has been shocked watching the television coverage of the flooding.

“I have been very emotional. I owned property on the Hawkesbury River and I’ve been in three floods but nothing like the scale of this,” he said.

Mr Holder can be contacted through the Advocate office.

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