Police praise the generosity shown by 'caring' border communities

DONATIONS: Bordertown local John Field has provided the Dukes Highway border station with weekly wood drops to help keep the station's fire going.
DONATIONS: Bordertown local John Field has provided the Dukes Highway border station with weekly wood drops to help keep the station's fire going.

Police officers manning the South Australia-Victoria border have been showered with gifts and firewood by thankful residents from Bordertown and neighbouring towns.

The kindness and generosity shown to the officers have resulted in them crowning the residents of some of the most caring people in the state.

Bordertown local John Field is one of the many people who have consistently taken time out of their week to make sure police and army personnel feel at home.

Since April, John, with help from his wife Faye and son Damien, has filled up the back of his truck with firewood from his property to help stock a fire located behind the border station.

Mr Field said he has provided the station with weekly wood drops since mid-April, and intends to keep doing it for as long as people remain at the border.

"We generally drop about one or two truckloads of wood each week, and that keeps the fire going for quite a while," Mr Field said.

When asked why he decided to undertake the act of generosity, he stated it was the least he could do, and believed others would reciprocate the gesture if it was him based at the station.

"The police are out here in freezing conditions - I know I'd appreciate the kindness if I was in their shoes," Mr Field said.

The amount of wood that is consistently delivered is estimated to be worth more than $600 per truckload, and Mr Field and friend Noel Johnson deliver it free of charge.

They aren't the only residents bringing a smile to the faces of police and army personnel.

One police officer said the station has received donations of food and cooking equipment since March, and the support that has been shown by residents has been nothing short of overwhelming.

"The support we have received has been overwhelming and humbling - we get people coming from Kaniva who randomly drop food when they come through," the officer said.

Residents from each border community have praised the work of the police and army personnel, as they man the busiest border crossing in South Australia.

"People love having the police out here - we get a lot of cars from border communities and they continue to show their gratitude by dropping things off to us," the officer said.

The officer joked that he had potentially gained weight since being deployed at the border, with delicious local bakery goods one of the many culprits.

With the Dukes Highway being the most used gateway into South Australia, police have seen a large number of people try and get into the state.

Yesterday, over 400 cars arrived at the station, with 25 of them being asked to return back to Victoria.

Police and army personnel situated at the border undertake 12-hour shifts, and are responsible for keeping South Australia free of COVID-19.

The kindness and generosity shown by Bordertown residents and neighbouring towns has made a huge impact on the officers.

A police sergeant located at the border station said he has never experienced a nicer and more caring community during his 35 years in the job.

To show appreciation, the officers are creating a list containing the names of people that have donated to the station, with a potential reward to be given to those people.

While the pandemic has changed life as we know it, one thing it hasn't changed is the people that make our great district.

In the future, when the virus has been eradicated, the officers located at the Dukes Highway border station will always remember the kindness shown to them by our giving community.