Thinkstock image of Christmas gift present boxes wrapped.
Thinkstock image of Christmas gift present boxes wrapped.

Gympie artist’s gift to fireys receives warm welcome

A GYMPIE artist has had her heartfelt gesture of respect recognised across the state.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services official Facebook page posted a picture of artist Pam Withers presenting a painting to Gympie firemen.

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then artist Pam Withers had quite a bit to say to those who battled blazes last bushfire season,” the caption read.

“Touched by the impact of the fires, Pam decided to express her support for firefighters by donating this beautiful painting to the Gympie Fire and Rescue Service Station.”

Kent Mayne area controller for Gympie and Noosa said the fireys at Gympie station felt honoured by the gift.

“That someone has taken the time to create something so beautiful and share it with us. It’s really great,” he said.

“And the gesture is really appreciated, especially during times like this. We’re grateful and humbled.”

Mrs Withers, who delivered the painting last week has been painting for about 10 years and said she has been learning from another local artist, Peter Hughes.

She said she painted her artwork from a photo she found on Facebook of a fireman walking through flames earlier in the year.

“If I like something, I paint it,” she said.

Artist Pam Withers with Justin Groth from Gympie Station presenting her bushfire inspired artwork.
Artist Pam Withers with Justin Groth from Gympie Station presenting her bushfire inspired artwork.

“When I saw the man in the fire, the idea came to me to donate it to the Fire Station and they can hang it if they like it or raffle it off to raise money - whatever they want to do with it.

“It’s my way of giving something back and saying a big ‘thank you’ for all they do.

“Because they really do need to be recognised for what they do,” she said.

The next project she is working on is a landscape painting of a rural Canadian river with a cabin on an island, taken from a photo her grandson took when he visited the area last year.

Here’s what people on the QFES Facebook page said about the painting:

Sandra Shuster: Good on you Pam. Such a touching moment for all fire fighters back then. Hopefully never to happen again. Thank you all fire fighters for all you do all year long. You’re amazing people and so brave. Blessings to you all.

Mick OBrien: Absolutely awesome painting! Just wondering if it’s for sale? Or if another can be done to sell because I’d like to buy one. I’m sure there would be a few other people willing to buy a painting like this.

Julie Dowe: Such a beautiful gesture and amazing portrait. You are a gracious, kind and friendly soul.

Sal Bishop: Wow Pam Withers, that is a wonderful painting.

Timothy Neinert: Great picture. Captures the moment of the fireman and the fire in reflection.

Alex Lackie: Awesome painting. So many words in one picture.