GIVING BACK: Sue Beale started the Billabong Op Shop in Calliope nine and a half years ago operating just one day per week, but has passed the community business on to Dell Parter.
GIVING BACK: Sue Beale started the Billabong Op Shop in Calliope nine and a half years ago operating just one day per week, but has passed the community business on to Dell Parter. Matt Taylor GLA270419SHOP

GALLERY: The Op Shop with a community vision for Calliope

FOR almost 10 years, the Calliope Op Shop has given back to its community, and last weekend was no different.

The Billabong Op Shop was first owned by Sue Beale nine and a half years ago with the support of husband Steve.

It opened one day a week out of the CWA Hall.

Sue said in the first six months the store - with the support of locals - raised $3000 for Calliope State School's Year 7 camp and the junior rugby league club.

"We got flooded in at our property ... so I was not bored but just when you can't go anywhere you come out with ideas, and I thought 'I'll start an op shop'," Sue said.

"I rented CWA one day a week for six months, which was only about $20 rent, and (sold) nothing over $1 and I just wanted to turn it over.

"Half of the money went to Calliope State School grade seven camp, because it does cost a lot of money, and the other half was junior rugby league."

 

Dell Parter has continued that vision for the past nine years after Sue handed her the shop and stock.

On Saturday, Dell held a ball and formal gown fashion parade at the store to raise money for the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail.

The funds raised will go to assisting the Boyne Valley group in securing insurance.

Dell said she held the event because she too carried the vision Sue instilled in the business.

"It makes your heart feel good that we're out there helping other people," she said.

"That was always my goal because that's how we were taught when we went to church. We were taught to help other people and that's in my heart."

Dresses were priced less than $15 and other items were offered at discounted prices.

 

Kirsty Hodson at the Billabong Op Shop ball gown and formal dress fashion parade, Calliope.
Kirsty Hodson at the Billabong Op Shop ball gown and formal dress fashion parade, Calliope. Matt Taylor GLA270419SHOP

Saturday's event was designed to show locals that looking good and feeling great didn't always come at a price.

"They looked beautiful, lovely today, and to sit back and relax and watch it was good," she said.

Sue said she was proud of how the shop had developed under Dell's guidance.

"It's beautiful, because op shops are for everybody," Sue said.

"We have so many kids and families needing op shops, and for them to look like their friends - parents can't afford hundreds of dollars.

"Today people can buy something and still feel just like everyone else, just as important, just as good."



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