ON April 6 and 7, the "Macquarie" property at O'Connell was opened for the weekend in order to raise funds for rural communities affected by drought.
Well over 2000 people visited the property and funds of almost $40,000 were raised.
The occasion was managed by St Vincent de Paul, who will also distribute the much-needed funds, particularly to those communities located further west than Bathurst who are in dire straits.
The weekend was judged to be a success.
The major attraction, apart from the viewing of the homestead and convict barracks, was an exhibition by Mountains and Metal, a group of silversmiths, jewellers and artisans. A percentage of their sales was also donated to the cause.
Other attractions included a blacksmithing demonstration, a short video on the history of "Macquarie" donated by Ray White Emms Mooney, the major sponsor for the weekend, and a penny-farthing cyclist.
Short history talks were given during the day and Bruce Buchanan from St Vincent de Paul spoke on drought issues.
The success of the weekend was in no short order due to the dedication of the officers and volunteers of St Vincent de Paul who also provided marketing expertise, catering and secured essential facilities for the weekend.