The Mckays are an Opal mining family and Sharyn McKay has written to PWF about her life in Quilpie, western Queensland, explaining that hers is a Christian family that ‘lives, works and schools’ at Opal House, Quilpie. They used to live on their own mine and now live in town and run their own retail outlet.
One son, Clint, is the ‘mining partner’ and another son, Jason, now sets many of their stones in silver and lives behind them. The McKays only older daughter does not live in Quilpie and Sharyn teaches their younger three children from home – the school room is behind the shop door.
Quilpie is a lovely little town with a population of approximately 600.
There is a free pool which is absolutely wonderful in summer. Summer is very hot, winter can be quite cold, and often there is not much in between weather. We usually get flooded in at least twice a year, but the town hasn’t flooded. The people in town are usually friendly and helpful and there is very little crime. It is great to live in a place where you don’t have to be fearful.
There are two schools in town, the state offers Prep to Year 10, as well as providing supervision for year 11 and 12 students via Distance Ed. There is also a hospital and police station, Retravision, hardware, fuel station, cafe, pub, caravan park, motel, golf club, bowls club…
Opal House is an historic building ‘in a great community’. The McKays offers accommodation but as yet they have no-one to run the kitchen.
Sharyn says they are very flexible as to what service they offer from their kitchen. At present they are looking at offering breakfasts and pizza 4 or 5 nights a week. As they don’t open for business from Friday evening, they run a Youth Group then, or Saturday. They also run a non-denominational fellowship meeting which is a good chance for travellers to kick back and meet people, explore the area or attend some of the other things that the town or district has to offer.
Basically the McKays want to make the building cover expenses, and they can’t be the ones to work it. With this in mind, the opportunity is there for suitably interested person/s to make a little or a lot, depending on what they want to put into a venture. There is also an opportunity for coffee shop etc and there are always opportunities for cleaning and ground maintenance.
Pay could be negotiated depending on what applicants have in mind, and could include accommodation. High wages are not an option at this point so the McKays are keen on percentage deals. It would be possible to arrange time away from the business to see more of the area and really get to know it. Non-smokers would be preferred if they were to live on the premises.
People with interests in Christian outreach may be interested?
Much hospitality work in this town is undertaken by backpackers etc, who want to work as they travel.
A start time could be negotiated soon, or otherwise in the New Year. The busiest time is March to September, but Sharyn would really like something happening before then if possible, but it’s all flexible – options are open.
Good luck Sharyn!