Jim the Gem donates sapphires worth nearly $20,000 to help
WHEN Jim "The Gem" Court donated two cases of sapphires to the Salvation Army, it was not just their beauty that struck Lieutenant Jake Horton.
Valued at more than $19,000, Lt Horton was taken aback by the well-known Gemfields local's generosity, and said he would be happy to oblige to Jim's request - that they help as many people in the local area as possible.
"The Salvation Army is going to be there with a helping hand, and help them on the path to recovery or happiness," Jim said. "It might be a young adolescent, it might be a child or a husband and wife… the Salvation Army, with these gemstones, can take that young child, or that young adolescent, or that husband and wife… and help them, to lift them up and help them on their way to happiness."
Jim, 76, said since he was a young child, his life had been "filled with sharing and caring", and looking to the future he wanted to do all he could to bring "smiles and happiness" to the faces of those he has helped.
"Since 1996, I have dug up some very valuable gemstones.
"I am now 76 next month (sic) and I might have another have 2-3 years before I head for the 'big jumper'," Jim said.
"It's in my will that my land and property will be sold and given away to charity.
"I was talking to one of my executives Jimmy, and Jim said, 'Before you head for the big jumper why don't you start making some of those donations now while you are still alive, and bring people joy and happiness?'."
Jim, a self-confessed "rock hound" said "time, patience and hard yakka" had made the donation possible.
Lt Horton said once the sapphires were sold, the sum would offer a timely boost to their funds to support people in the region leading into storm season.
"We had our first disaster management meeting... we were advised it's going to be a significantly dry and stormy season (with) thunder and lightning, so obviously there is a pretty big risk there to the community," Lt Horton said.
"So hopefully this will allow us to support people through that.
"Past storm season, we will be looking at how we can best support the community.
"We want to support as many people in the best way possible."