Community mourns local identity after shock death
THE sudden passing of a local identity has rocked the community in Lismore.
Wally Kidwell died of a heart attack on the job, working as a security guard at the Richmond Hotel on February 7, aged 72.
On March 1, the Richmond Hotel will host a fundraising gig to help his family pay for the funeral.
Hotel owner John Quilkey said Mr Kidwell, who also worked at the courthouse was a well-respected and loved community member.
“It’s quite staggering how many people have come out of the blue and said they knew him, he just loved talking to people,” Mr Quilkey said.
“It’s a big loss to the community, he will be sorely missed.”
Staff at the Richmond have been offered counselling, and seem to be faring well.
“A couple of the young girls who were pretty close to Wally were a bit upset, he was always joking with them and having fun,” Mr Quilkey said
“It’s been a bit sombre at work. He would always arrive an hour early before his shift and walk around and talk to people.”
Mr Kidwell was known for having a soft spot for people who were doing it tough.
“He was always there helping people if he could,” Mr Quilkey said.
“He took people into his home to give them accommodation if they were desperate.”
All the bands listed including Loose Ends, Supercheeze, Pistol Whip and Massive are giving their time freely to raise funds on March 1.
Richmond Hotel staff are also volunteering their time and community members have donated items to be auctioned or raffled.
There will be raffles and a sausage sizzle at the gig starting at 12pm.
Mr Quilkey also hopes to buy a defibrillator for the Richmond Hotel in Mr Kidwell’s honour, and make it available for anyone along the street who needs it.