Isolation makes community closer

EWINGAR may be a remote community right on the very edge of the Clarence Valley but residents are proud of where they live and have a strong sense of community that comes with living in an isolated area.

Ruth Harriman came to Ewingar in 1981. After 10 years, she moved to Brisbane to go to university and get a job, then moved overseas. She returned to Ewingar two years ago.

Ms Harriman said there was nothing not to like about living in Ewingar.

“I love the bush and the solitude (and) I like the independence of the people who live here. There is room for everyone here to be the person they want to be,” she said.

“I don't think of Ewingar as being isolated. We have satellite broadband, radio, TV and mail services now that weren't available 30 years ago. The roads are good and just about everyone has a vehicle.

“Probably the only groups who would feel the distance are teenagers who don't have a licence yet. Kids have a long day at school, getting the bus at 7.30am and returning about 4.30pm.”

Ms Harriman said it could be “a real pain” at times having to drive several hours to do the shopping but on the plus side you knew most of the people you saw and they always found time for a chat.

“There is a strong sense of community here. If anyone needs help they only have to ask and there will be many willing hands,” she said.

“We take care of our older members and we visit those who are sick or confined to home.”

Ms Harriman said surplus home-grown fruit and vegies were freely shared among members of the community.

“Usually there is a table on our regular Friday night functions (at the Ewingar Hall) for people to help themselves to whatever is available,” she said.

On the day The Daily Examiner visited Ewingar, the residents had got together at their local hall for the annual Jack Fletcher Memorial Cup cricket match.

“I can remember when we used to play down at Cleveland Crossing.

"The day before, we'd pick up all the cow manure and slash the paddock, and have a big camp fire,” she said.

“When the hall was built about 12-13 years ago, the match was moved here.

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