West Hobart Community Rallies to Support Embattled Pensioners – 22 March 2015
Former customers, supporters and a myriad of well-wishers converged at the Queens Head Hotel today for a special community fundraiser, held in support of former BP West Hobart business operators, Bill and Sue Bostock, who are facing homelessness.
The Bostock’s ran BP West Hobart for 38 years until they were forced to hang up the petrol pump for the last time in 2010 when their lease was not renewed. Now they stand to lose their family home if they are unable to raise $50,000 within 14 days to pay an outstanding business debt that has been attracting a staggering 22 percent interest. Since the closure of the business, Bill, aged 74, has been unable to gain full-time work.
In the last year, Bill has undergone radiation therapy for cancer, was hospitalised with septicaemia and has battled with other serious health issues. His wife is on a disability pension due to poor health.
Event Coordinator, Stephanie Watson said, “I purchased my first tank of petrol from Bill when I was 21 and he took care of my motoring needs for 25 years, providing full driveway service. “Whenever I drove past, he never failed to give a friendly wave and smile – sometimes the only smile I would receive all day. As a customer, I was especially grateful for the times when Bill would allow me to fill up with petrol and pay him the following week when I could afford to. As a sole mum struggling to make ends meet, this meant the world to me,” Ms Watson said.
“With permission, Bill would also regularly offer the kids a lollypop as parents filled their tanks with petrol, earning him the title of ‘The Lollypop Man’, and the local kids could always count on Bill to inflate their bicycle tyres when required.” “Bill simply thought of everyone and went out of his way to be kind and helpful.”
“Bill and Sue should not have to endure such financial stress at this stage of their lives, especially after everything they have done for the community. The fact that the people of Hobart have donated almost $10,000 this week would indicate that many others share the same sentiment,” she said.
A very humbled, Bill Bostock said, “At our age, no bank would lend us the money to pay the outstanding debt so public donations are our last hope. We are immensely moved by the generosity shown by so many people who have donated funds and have put so much time and effort into making this fundraising event possible. “There are so many wonderful customers involved whom we miss very much, as well as other generous people who we have not even met, who have donated items for the auction and helped in many other ways.” “Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to you all,” he said.
The Bill Bostock Benefit featured music by Ian Paulin, Rowan Smith and Mark Clemens, tarot readings by Sara Hewitt and a silent auction, to which many businesses and individuals contributed.
Further donations can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/nc3ufw.
The Bill Bostock Benefit is proudly supported by the Queens Head Hotel and Mark Media.
Bill Bostock of BP West Hobart (formerly located on the corner of Arthur and Hill Sts) diligently served our community for 38 years until he was forced to close his doors in 2010 when his lease was not renewed.
Through his kindness and generosity, Bill became a much loved and highly respected member of the community whose business became the lifeblood of West Hobart. Serving petrol was not just Bill’s livelihood – it was his life!
On 22 July 2010, when Bill and his wife, Sue closed the service station doors for the last time, a guard of honour was formed along Arthur Street by hundreds of appreciative residents as the Bostock family was escorted to a special community farewell at the Queens Head Hotel.
Footage of the event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOpiSyz39uQ
At the time of closure, the Bostocks owed a considerable sum of money for fuel from when times were tough and, as a result of not being able to secure full-time work and due to ongoing heath issues, the debt has hung over their heads gathering interest.
Over the last year, Bill, now aged 74, has undergone radiation treatment for cancer, was hospitalised with an infection that led to septicaemia, and has faced other serious health issues. Now he faces the biggest battle of his life – to save his family home.
The Bostocks urgently need our support to help raise $50,000 and members of the community are encouraged to dig deep to support Bill and his wife at a time in their lives when they should be enjoying a well-deserved retirement.
DONATIONS can be made at the Commonwealth Bank – 365 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
(BSB 067 028, A/c 1031 3072), or ONLINE at http://www.gofundme.com/nc3ufw
DONATION TINS are also available at the Queens Head Bottle Shop, Adam’s Store, the Hill Street Grocer, West Hobart Express Newsagency and at the Commonwealth Bank in North Hobart.
A community fundraising event will be held this month. Details are as follows:
Bill Bostock Benefit
1 – 4pm, Sunday, 22 March
QUEENS HEAD HOTEL
Music will be provided by Ian Paulin, Rowan Smith and Mark Clemens
Entry costs $10
CDs will be available for sale as well as items for auction
Everyone is welcome!
Ian Paulin grew up in Ulverstone and has shared the stage at festivals and on tour with Don Maclean, John Denver, Cold Chisel, Red Gum, Judy Small and Eric Bogle. He has won song writing awards as Australasian 1st place winner of the inaugural Australasian Songwriter’s Association Awards of the Melbourne Festival , and awards for performance and song writing at Port Fairy, National, Geelong, Adelaide Fringe, Sydney Arts and Woodford Festivals. He has performed in Europe including at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg, where the Beatles played.
Rowan Smith is a songwriter and musician. His albums and songs have received critical acclaim and international release through both major and independent labels; appeared in Triple JJJ’s Hottest 100; been recorded by Golden Guitar winner Dianna Corcoran; reached Austereo’s Top 10 as an independent artist; and have gathered fans in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as Australia.
Mark Clemens is a Tasmanian fingerstyle guitar player, instrumentalist, musician, photographer, writer, and author of The Mountain – a new book about kunanyi/Mount Wellington. Mark has played the State Cinema Cafe, Marmalade Cafe and at Elizabeth Street Food and Wine. In 2013, Mark participated in a course in France with master world guitarist, Pierre Bensusan.
Nationally famous clairvoyant psychic, astrologer and Tarot card reader, Sara Hewitt will be offering 10-minute Tarot Card Readings for attendees on the day. Sara has over 25 years’ professional experience providing psychic guidance and practical advice to clients throughout Australia and internationally. Sara is famous for her accuracy after a long career writing horoscopes and psychic advice columns for Australian magazines including Good Medicine, Elle, Take 5 and Grazia, and she has been making radio and television appearances since 1993.
Come along and book your reading for just $20.
We hope to see you there!