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The mower the merrier

Daniel Bouwmeester    October 6, 2022    3 min read   

A local truckie from Camira is volunteering to mow the lawns of some of Springfield’s most vulnerable residents, and is reluctant to receive recognition.

Tony Holt, a self-employed concrete truck driver, heads out when he can to neighbouring homes in Camira, Goodna, Ellen Grove, and Inala, among others.

“I just like people to feel good when I’m done,” Tony said.

The 63-year-old said his service to the community is just part of his duty as a member of Springfield Christian Family, and he describes it as a “yard ministry”.

“I want to do my utmost to help protect people who have experienced domestic violence… to help mothers who need help. Some of them have nothing. I believe God put me into a situation where those situations arose.”

Originally from New Zealand, Tony said he was in a similar boat when he moved here.

“I came to Australia with nothing. I lost everything over there, my marriage, my business…”

Some residents told him they had long been begging for someone to come and help clear away their clutter, he said, explaining that that can often start the process of clearing the emotional clutter in their lives.

“My simple philosophy is that [someone’s] whole life might be untidy, but if you remove some of the rubbish, they go: ‘Wow! I didn’t think it would look this good!’

In the past, Tony has tended to the homes of a close-knit neighbourhood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums. He has also helped an alcoholic man who was in financial trouble and a young woman who phoned the church one night reporting that she had debilitating mental health issues and was unable to cope with her yard.

“It’s been my dream to be able to run something in my community where people have someone to ring up to get something done,” Tony said.

“That’s where I want it to go. So many people have or need a second opportunity.”

“I’ve got people now who want to help me. For example, Pastor Phil Cutcliffe [of Westside Community Care] motivates me. He’s someone I really respect.”

Camira resident and fellow Springfield Christian Family member June Johnson said Tony is a good man who has a heart for people who are feeling down and out.

“One of the ladies was on her own, with her kids, and he cooked food for them. He has a real heart for children.”

“He doesn\’t like blowing his own trumpet, and he will deny he is generous… I have reminded him of the many things he has done.”

Tony said he is currently looking to hire a number of sub-contracted truck drivers to help him on the road.

Tony Holt’s company, TJ’s Concrete Cartage, has been operating since 2015, working across Brisbane.

For all enquiries, email Tony at tony.bootlace@gmail.com or call 0431 526 885.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.