Crab Fest painting auction boosts school support

Emma Blyth’s painting for the annual Crab Fest charity auction has attracted a winning bid of $5400, all of which will go to Mandurah Primary School.

The winning bidders, Eddie and Sharon Gill, have lived in Halls Head for 20 years and saw the auction as an opportunity to own a piece of Mandurah history, while giving back to their community.

The acrylic and gold leaf painting depicts the 62-year-old traffic bridge, which will disappear from the Mandurah landscape in the coming months.

“It was the last painting of the bridge… that was the clincher for us,” Mr Gill said.

“If I was going to commission something, it was exactly what I’d have wanted.”

Ms Gill herself worked at Mandurah Primary School for several years, so when the couple discovered the proceeds would go to helping disadvantaged local students, they decided it was a worthwhile investment.

“It was so nice that Sharon has previously worked at the school so she knew how much they would appreciate the help,” Ms Blyth said.

“Sharon and Eddie both have a history of helping the kids at Mandurah Primary so it was a great coincidence.”

Mandurah Primary School principal Natasha Upcott said the school community was very excited about how much money was raised during the auction.

“We’ll be using it for those families who come to our school who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford things like uniforms, school expenses, and excursions,” Ms Upcott said.

“We certainly have families that arrive through local refuges or Pat Thomas House, so often in fairly desperate circumstances… for those who might be going through other crisis, we want school to be a relatively normal place for them.”

Ms Blyth said she was looking forward to working with Ms Upcott and Mandurah Primary School in supporting students over the year.