A terrible car accident on April 23, the ANZAC Day weekend, sadly killed a 17 year old apprentice bricklayer, Ethan Hertslet and two of his friends who were returning home after the long weekend away. Ethan lived in the regional town of Orange in NSW where the devastation of this loss left people heartbroken. He was an apprentice bricklayer employed by local bricklayer Gary Pollack and was a very popular young person at work and amongst his peers around Orange, Gilgandra, Brewarrina and elsewhere.
Gary explained that while Ethan struggled to settle down at school, once he found the Bricklaying trade, it changed him overnight – he matured, loved the work and found something he was good at.
“Ethan’s legacy is that if you’re struggling at school or in trouble, you can still turn your life around,” Gary Pollack said.
To honour his memory, Gary had a big idea: he decided that bricklayers could build a house on a Saturday morning and raise funds for Ethan’s family. And they did just that on Saturday May 7! Around Orange, 35 others – including 30 bricklayers and labourers, pitched in to help achieve the goal and in record time!
Gary Pollack told the Central Western Daily “It makes you proud to be a bricklayer – this is the sort of thing country people do. It doesn’t bring him back, but it’s something we can do to help.
They started at 7 am and within two hours, three-quarters of the house was bricked up! By 11.30 the job was completed and they were cleaning their tools and washing up. At any given time there were three lines on a wall such that each bricklayer was only able to lay five bricks at a time because there were so many bricklayers. Take a look at our Gallery photos of the progressive build.
Geoff Noble, CEO at ABBTF said “The national team at ABBTF send our sincerest condolences to Ethan’s family and friends and to Gary Pollack and team, we acknowledge and thank the bricklayers who contributed to and supported Gary’s fundraiser.”
If you’d like to donate to support the Charnock and Hertslet family during this hard time, visit https://www.gofundme.com/2punxkrw.
ABBTF NSW Manager