QUEENSLAND may have won the inaugural Pie of Origin contest in Fernvale on the weekend, but it was the kind-hearted gesture of a New South Welshman which won the hearts of the region.
After seeing the devastation of the January 2011 floods on the news, Sydney baker Rob Pirina was moved to help his fellow bakers in the Lockyer Valley, but on visiting the area himself and witnessing the devastation first hand, he decided there could be a lot more done to ease the plight of residents in the Fernvale region.
Mr Pirina posted a challenge on YouTube to any baker in Queensland to stage the Pie of Origin, to raise money for flood victims and Bill Rose from the Old Fernvale Bakery accepted the challenge with glee, with the result seeing $10,000 raised in very quick time for the Pie of Origin on Saturday.
Mr Pirina said he was happy to see the money raised, distributed immediately to the people who needed it most in Lions Clubs in the region and individuals in need of a helping hand.
"I don't feel right handing the money over to an association as I prefer to see the smiles on people's faces," Mr Pirina said.
"Knowing I've made a difference makes all the difference."
The success of the event and the friendship which has developed between Bill Rose and Rob Pirina will now see the Pie of Origin become a yearly event, with Mr Rose going into Cockroach territory next year to the Glenorie Bakery in Sydney.
Such were the smiles on everyone who attended the day at the Old Fernvale Bakery, you can bet both Rob Pirina and Bill Rose left with the biggest smiles at the success of the event and their not insignificant contribution to the people of Fernvale.
And to pies.