HELPING HAND: Barry Scanlan and the local installation helpers take a break while fitting solar lights into huts in East Timor.
HELPING HAND: Barry Scanlan and the local installation helpers take a break while fitting solar lights into huts in East Timor. Contributed

Barry flies in to render aid

ONE Warwick tradesman who has crossed international boundaries to help others would do it all again if he had the opportunity.

Warwick gasfitter Barry Scanlan helped install solar lights in East Timor villages and later repair ruined gas lines in Christchurch after the earthquake. Mr Scanlan volunteered to go to East Timor in March 2010 with the Edmund Rice Community, through St Mary's Church.

"Some villagers came over to tell their story to the congregation and I was asked to go," he said.

Living with the remote mountain villagers while volunteering was an eye opener.

"We lived with locals and they were very kind and happy people.

"They don't have anything except what is in the forest to survive.

"Each family has two huts - one for cooking because of all the smoke and one for living quarters.

"Our job was to go to remote villages and put solar lighting in both huts.

"We did 50 families, so 100 huts," he said.

After the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, Mr Scanlan was one of six Australians who went to New Zealand with Origin Energy to repair the city's broken gas lines.

The city looked like a war zone, he said.

"There was rubble everywhere, the roads had been torn up and buildings were being held up by internal supports.

"It was our job to help repair the underground gas lines and, where we couldn't, put in gas bottles instead," he said.


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