TOPICS: Pollies lend a hand with mowing

AT HIS FEET: Dave Sheerin relaxes while Shortland Liberal candidate John Church and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell tend to his lawn. Dave won their services for $500. Picture: Simone De Peak Eden Williams at Cessnock McDonald’s.

MOWER? Check. Beers? Check. Luscious lawn – albeit the size of a postage stamp? Check.

Member for Charlestown Andrew Cornwell ensured he had confirmed the trifecta before arriving at constituent David Sheerin’s Dudley home on Tuesdayafternoon to mow his lawn.

‘‘Hang on,’’ we hear you ask, ‘‘Mr Cornwell– isn’t he a vet?’’

Indeed he is, but Mr Cornwell had also offered his services to anyone prepared to pay $500 at a February fund-raising auction for Central Newcastle Rugby League Football Club, also known as The Butcher Boys.

Mr Cornwell – who worked as a boilermaker’s labourer and a storeman and packer before he became a veterinarian – said he had received help tending to his lawn since becoming a parliamentarian but was confident he could still work a certain kind of magic with a mower.

Mr Sheerin, a former player and secretary with the football club and a former vice president of Central Charlestown Leagues Club, took the bait.

‘‘It was an opportunity to donate money to the football club but also represented service delivery for my $500,’’ Mr Sheerin said.

‘‘It’s a great chance to catch up with my local member and shoot the breeze on social issues, ask him what he does on weekends, and how he keeps busy away from politics.’’

Mr Cornwell said he had been concerned after offering the prize that Mr Sheerin may be on acreage.

‘‘No way. It’s the size of a postage stamp, so it’s certainly not going to knock him out. He won’t tire,’’ Mr Sheerin said.

‘‘I’ve done all the edging anyway.

‘‘We’ve got a backyard of about 25 square metres and the front yard is all woodchipped so we’ll be expecting him to do the council strip as well, which is about 50square metres.

‘‘It will take him three or four minutes – if the petrol mower breaks, I’ll give him scissors and he’ll still be done in 15 minutes.’’

Mr Sheerin, an inspector for WorkCover, said he would ensure Mr Cornwell complied with the highest work, health and safety standards.

‘‘And what he doesn’t bring, we’ll provide.’’

With Mr Cornwell appropriately kitted out, Mr Sheerin proceeded to recline on his backyard deck with half a dozen friends from the football club, who came along to thank Mr Cornwell for his kindness and also partake in a ‘‘beer and leer’’.

Ladies pedal Knights

EVER wanted to know what it’s like to live like a Newcastle Knight?

Cycling team The Fit Ladies will be auctioning on eBay this month the opportunity for four people to enjoy front row tickets behind the players’ bench at a home game, meet the players and coaching staff, have a tour of the change rooms before the game and get autographs in the change rooms after the game.

The cycling team will be embarking on an epic adventure in November, cycling 450kilometres from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for Arthritis NSW.

The Be a Newcastle Knight for the Day experience will be listed on eBay for 10 days, from today to June 14.

Filly’s lovin’ it

THE mystery has been solved!

The cheeky man who we featured on Saturday riding his horse into Cessnock McDonald’s drive-through has been identified as Ellalong’s Eden Williams, 21.

The Drayton’s Winery vineyard hand was taking his eight-year-old filly Lady out for the day when he decided to stop in for a feed.

‘‘I didn’t expect to get as many looks as I did,’’ Mr Williams told Topics.

‘‘It was the first time I’d ever taken a horse through the drive-through and she was quite good. I was really surprised.

‘‘She stopped right behind all the cars in line and didn’t get too spooked.’’

Mr Williams said he ordered a cheeseburger meal for himself, but only gave vegetarian Lady a few chips and a few cups of water.

Baby follows footsteps

FOLLOWING our item yesterday about what to buy Queen Elizabeth II for the 60th anniversary of her coronation, we’ve received calls from Hunter royalists who have reminded us that William and Kate’s impending arrival will not be Her Majesty’s first great grandchild. Her grandson Peter Phillips has two daughters, Savannah Phillips, born in 2010 and Isla Phillips, born in 2012.

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