Megan Turnbull with her father-in-law Leigh Turnbull at the Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton.
Megan Turnbull with her father-in-law Leigh Turnbull at the Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton. Chris Ison ROK281116cadopotfamil

Cri set to adopt this Christmas

LEIGH Turnbull and his family know what it's like to do it tough.

A few years ago Leigh wouldn't have admitted it but there came a point in the mid eighties when all there was in the fridge was stale bread and Vegemite.

"I said to Carolyn you would be better off without me and I took off,” Leigh said.

"I was living on the Gold Coast and I got up to Beenleigh, I stopped, wiped the tears out of my eyes and said you stupid bastard, get back home.”

Leigh knows what it's like to do it tough and he never wants to go back down that road so this Christmas he's decided to "adopt a family” to help out those who find themselves in a similar situation.

"I know what it's like, I know it can change your whole persona if you are not somewhat comfortable in yourself,” Leigh explained when it came to facing hard times.

"As soon as you become uncomfortable within yourself you then start to do things you don't realise you're doing.”

Leigh has raised money for several different causes over the years, but decided this year he and the Criterion would team up with Vinnies to deliver families with food and presents for Christmas.

"The hotel has always been run by a family, it has never been company owned where uninterested managers are in it so consequently the family orientation of the Cri is important to it's ongoing longevity and also it's important to the town.”

"We believe that the Cri does have a responsibility in relation to certain things within the community and I think Christmas is a time where we can turn around and say what can we do for the ones that are doing it tough.

"I like the idea where we can turn around and someone can nominate and say this family is doing it tough and that is what Vinnies is doing. We then as a business, well not even as a business, as individuals can come along and ask how can we help.”

Leigh said he would like to think other people from Rocky could also get in and do something about adopting families for Christmas.

"When you look at the take up rate on the adopt a families, it's not really good.”

"I would really like to push the fact that we need other people in Rockhampton whether it be a business or private people, whether it be $50 bucks of $100, to go and see Vinnies and say we'd like to help.

"The last two Christmases may just be the toughest we've had with people being retrenched and not being able to go out there and readily get a job..

"So the Turnbull family and the Criterion Hotel would like to do their two bobs worth for others this Christmas.”



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