What happens when three Kairi farmers and one prominent businessman from the Atherton Tablelands get around a table at the end of another busy year?
You get some great laughs and a load of heckling, but you wouldn't expect to hear the words "let's get a team together and do a car rally".
That’s exactly what happened though, when the foursome consisting of farmers Ross Johnson, Pompey Pezzelato, Alan Poggioli and business operator Neal Rockley decided to take a short ‘mental health’ break and have fun together, raising $10,000 for disadvantage kids at the same time.
Taking part in Variety Queensland’s annual car rally has been on their bucket list for a while and now they are making it happen, resurrecting the Kairi Boys tug-o-war team legend in the process.
As Ross Johnson explains, The Kairi Boys was the name for the “original and unbeatable” tug-o-war team from the far northern farming community.
Speaking proudly as a third generation farmer from the region, Ross explained that the team’s colours of black and gold, which match the Kairi State School colours, would live on with the rally team.
“We’ll be visiting tiny towns along the way just as small as Kairi, and we know how much heart small towns have and what it means for them when a ‘Bash’ rolls through,” he said.
The 'Variety Bash', as it is affectionately known, is not a competitive car race.
Instead, via a lot of high jinx, practical jokes and good spirits, teams travel in rally style across Queensland via isolated outback towns, bringing good spirits as well as much-needed funds for sick and disadvantaged children.
This year’s rally kicks off from Gladstone in August, running through Lake Monduran, Biloela, Blackwater, Dysart, Halliday Bay, Glenden and Bowen River before arriving in Charters Towers.
The crew has bought a 1984 V8 Holden Statesman de Ville, which it’s now getting rally ready, and locals are looking out for her around town as she makes the transformation.