FUTURE'S IN GREAT HANDS: Tony and Kathy O'Brien have given out Calliope Cricket Club shirts to club stalwart Bruce Gibbs. Behind are Alex Austin, Michael Elcoate, Connor Elcoate, Jazara Austin, Tyson Arnold, Jacob Wilson, Arabella Austin, Jack Thwaite and Rhyan Beard.
FUTURE'S IN GREAT HANDS: Tony and Kathy O'Brien have given out Calliope Cricket Club shirts to club stalwart Bruce Gibbs. Behind are Alex Austin, Michael Elcoate, Connor Elcoate, Jazara Austin, Tyson Arnold, Jacob Wilson, Arabella Austin, Jack Thwaite and Rhyan Beard. Matt Taylor GLA280219SHIRT

It's a case of true community spirit coming out in Calliope

CRICKET: Members and players from the Calliope Cricket Club now have great reason to wear something with pride.

And it comes on the back of some big-hearted goodwill from Tony and Kathy O'Brien because the club's junior cricketers received some brand new playing polo shirts.

The couple tragically lost their daughter Lesley in a house fire back in 1999 in Pentland, North Queensland on September 16.

"In Lesley's memory, as Lesley loved Christmas, the family decided to go to every house in Calliope and hand out lollies and toys to the children," Kathy said.

The O'Briens decided to collect aluminium cans and use the money to purchase the lollies and toys.

They were dubbed Mr and Mrs Claus.

As the years rolled past and the Calliope township grew, it became to hard to visit each household although son Greg and Tony did each half of Calliope.

"We had a lot of support with cans donated for Christmas Day and friends made Santa suits and donated some lollies and toys," Kathy said.

They stopped visiting the homes in 2009, but the tradition continues because the Calliope Fire Brigade visits all families on Christmas Eve.

The couple's generosity never waned.

"We kept recycling the cans and now give it (money) to help children's groups and sports in Calliope," Kathy said.

The Calliope Scouts, Calliope Kindergarten, Calliope Junior Roosters Rugby League Club, and the Calliope Junior Cricket Club were the biggest beneficiaries.

"We also gave some money to the Calliope Fire Brigade to help purchase lollies for their trip around Calliope on Christmas Eve," Kathy said.

The kind-hearted couple are long-time Calliope residents and they have seen all the children that they have visited, grow up over the years.

"One lady told us that Calliope Santa had visited her when she was young and was now visiting her baby," Kathy said.

"It makes us very proud to see the new Calliope Junior Cricket Club shirts and to see the efforts of our community recognised in this way and thank-you to everyone."