Friends prevail at Hell's Gate

Annual ladies lunch doubles in size at Hell's Gate Roadhouse


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In remote places and when the chips are down, friends are more important than ever, and it was shown in spades at the Hell's Gate Ladies Lunch.

In remote places and when the chips are down, friends are more important than ever, and it was shown in spades at the Hell's Gate Ladies Lunch at the bottom of the Gulf of Carpentaria on the weekend.

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Owned by Roma's John and Jenny Hays and managed by their son Scott Hays and Sophie Elliott, the third annual event doubled in size this year as word spreads along the Savannah Way.

Old schoolfriends and flatmates of the couple who are busy making the roadhouse between Burketown and Borroloola a place to stop and enjoy the surrounds drove and flew from Brisbane, Julia Creek, Toowoomba and Roma to mix with locals for a day of camaraderie.

Susie Ferrier transported lines from her Roma giftware shop up, along with Heidi Hays' Roma healthcare products, joined by stalls from enterprising women at Doomadgee.

"We're very lucky here at Hell's Gate - people call in, see we're busy and stay and help," Jenny said.

"We're overwhelmed that people have travelled so far in the name of friendship.

"Life has been tough on the land with droughts and now floods but remember that it can also be lonely in town - don't forget to check on each other."

The money raised from Saturday's raffles, $450, will go to the Sisters of the North flood recovery effort.

There will be no rest for the Hays - after catering for a 250-car rally last week, they're expecting a 170-car rally through next week.

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