VANDALISM threatened to ruin the Heathcote Lions Clubs’ Christmas, with decorations damaged over the celebration period.
A Christmas tree that has been a part of Heathcote for over three years now was taken from the top of the Information Centre roof and damaged, while four other items including candles and stars are beyond repair.
“I drove down on the Friday (December 22) and thought how beautiful the tree was looking only to be told of the damage a day or two later,” Heathcote Lions Club president Lorraine Spiers said.
The Christmas tree was found not far from the information centre, with the perpetrators deciding to damage and dump the tree.
“The tree is not beyond repair, fortunately — but that’s the most frustrating part, whoever did this obviously didn’t like the tree because they just dumped it around the corner so it was really just plain vandalism.”
Mrs Spiers said the damage to the tree was a few bent branches, which should be repairable rather quickly.
“(The tree) normally gets lit up at the carols every year for the first time, so that tree for the last few years anyway has been a big part of Christmas for us.”
The damage marred what is supposed to be such a joyful time around Heathcote, and Mrs Spiers said if the vandals didn’t come forward, the money would have to come straight out of the Lions Club pockets.
“It does put a dampener on your Christmas because those decorations have come out of our own money, and also in partnership with Bendigo Bank, so to think that someone has just walked up and done this for no real reason — it’s frustrating.
“We have had all these out for the last few years and nothing has happened so we are hoping it is just a one-off thing.”
Mrs Spiers said the damage isn’t going to kill the Lions Club Christmas cheer and they expect to again be decorating Heathcote in December this year.
“We are going to keep these decorations going; we won’t let something like this stop us. We are just going to make sure that the decorations are maybe more secure than they have been.”
Mrs Spiers urged anyone with information on the vandalism to come forward to the Lions Club.