Folks, a few years back I posted about when we got stuck on the sand bank in the Passage just opposite Toorbul, and many of my page supporters thought it was very funny. “The Truth” is, so did we, and we enjoyed the experience for what it was. A learning experience not to get stuck in low tides ever again.

Since that day I’ve learnt more about tides around Moreton Bay, and I’ve also been to some terrific seminars at the VMR at Bribie Island that have been informative and made me aware of the many pitfalls you can run into around the water in Moreton Bay.

But what this story is really about was when I also learnt a lot about community, and it was just one local Toorbul man who gave me a new appreciation of mate-ship and how the community look after one another.

That day I made the mistake that many others have which was that I didn’t follow the markers. Nor did I take into account the times that the tides change, and decided to take a short cut across the passage.

Basically I did everything wrong. Just a dumb ass city boy who was way out of his comfort zone!  hahaha

But one thing happened that day that has remained fresh in my mind, and that was a lone man who was out fishing that day and on his way back home, but stopped to come to our aid and try and help us.

He stopped his boat near the channel and walked a long way across the mud to try and help me push the boat back towards the channel. The boat was never going to move, we were stuck.

During this time, I received a return phone call from the emergency services to ask if I was ok, and did I wish to leave the boat. To this my new Toorbul mate yelled to the guy on the phone that we were busy trying to get the boat moving and to “P—s off”. Even the emergency guy on the phone had a good laugh at that.  hahaha

We had no hope of moving the boat until the high tide came in some 6 hours later so we were left stranded in the pitch darkness, but what happened next I will never forget.

This amazing Toorbul man made three trips back and forth from his home to make sure we were ok as the night and darkness set in. He also brought food and insect spray to make sure we were safe and as comfortable as we could be under the circumstances.

This to me said everything I wanted to know about Queenslander’s and Moreton Bay. They support one another in times of trouble and they stand up when things go pear shaped, and believe me, things went pear shaped for us this day.

To me this was my first experience of “Community” since moving to Queensland, and I am the type of person that when someone does something kind for me, I never forget it. And this act of kindness humbled me to my very core, and it still moves me years later. You see, in Sydney it’s dog eat dog, and city life  and large companies are so far removed to this amazing lifestyle you folks enjoy here in Queensland it’s not funny.

It’s just two different worlds.

I’ve come to love you Queenslander’s to bits, and I have never been out and about as much as I have since I moved up here. I have truly brought into the lifestyle and Community like you can’t believe and that’s one of the main reason why I’m running for Mayor and whether I win an election or not that love affair with Queensland will continue on until I finally call it a day.

I would love to meet up with this wonderful Toorbul man again, and once again shake his hand for what he did for us that day. It actually all happened so quickly. Stuck in low tides, with night falling into darkness and confusion everywhere. The dogs even had run around in the mud as the sun set and we laughed our heads off. We made the best of a crazy situation, but it’s what Queenslander’s do isn’t it?

Yes, to me this day meant more to me than breaking my retirement and going back to work and running for Mayor, there is no doubt in my mind that being stranded that day has had a huge bearing in my mindset to stand up for the ordinary Mums and Dads and family, and to give a little back for what Queensland has done for me.

Queensland has given me my life and spirit back, from tragedy and loss to feeling a sense of life I have not experienced for such a long time.

I may not be an expert on boating or the great outdoors, but I sure as hell know what to do about changing what’s currently in place with this Council.

We are all about to go on a wonderful  journey of change together and I promise I won’t leave you stranded high and dry in the middle of nowhere if you put your trust in me, those days will soon be a distant memory.

Eric Shields

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