Victim of vandalism ‘swamped’ with Xmas good will

INCIDENT: Rolleston resident Kay Dawe holding some of the Christmas lights which were vandalised last Saturday.

A Rolleston woman has been “swamped” with donations and offers of help after the Christmas lights she put up in memory of her late husband were vandalised.

Kay Dawe, 67, has been installing Christmas lights around her Overbury Crescent house ever since she moved there 12 years ago.

She says her late husband Peter loved Christmas and always went out of his way to make the season special.

When he died of a sudden heart attack in 2014, Mrs Dawe decided to continue the tradition alone.

Having recently finished this year’s display, Mrs Dawe woke last Saturday to smashed lights on her doorstep, around her property and on the road. There were also road cones placed on her lawn.

“It took about two weeks to put them all up and then for somebody to do that, that’s what makes you disappointed,” she said.

Its the third time in the 12 years Mrs Dawe’s lights have been vandalised or stolen.

She estimates this year’s damage cost about $100 but says it’s not about the money.

Mrs Dawe has been to police about the previous two incidents but said this time she decided make a post on the Rolleston Community Page on Facebook instead.

“I just put it on Facebook and then was absolutely swamped by all this reaction and it was just amazing. I just felt so humbled by what the community is like out here,” Mrs Dawe said.

She received offers of money, vouchers, Christmas lights, help with installation and repairs but didn’t take them up as she had already fixed the display herself.

“A lady came to my door with a box of homemade Christmas baking and then a man came with a box of chocolates and a box of lights,” Mrs Dawe said.

Although she had suggested this could be her last year putting up Christmas lights in the Facebook post, Mrs Dawe says she’s “not giving in yet.”

“I say that every year – I’ve said that for 12 years but I keep going,” she said.