Terry Cantrill has made helping others his life.
Terry Cantrill has made helping others his life. Jonno Colfs

Meet the minister of the street

IT’S 50 years this week since Terry Cantrill’s life and looks were forever altered by a horrifying car crash.

Mr Cantrill said he was simply driving to work.

“It was around 3pm and I was 20kms out of Orange,” he said.

“It’s assumed I fell asleep at the wheel. Fair to say I didn’t make it to work.

“It was a single-vehicle accident. I hit a very large white post, kind of like a bollard.

“I must have regained conciousness for a bit because I managed to get out of the car.”

Mr Cantrill said a few workers who were travelling to a building site came across the scene and managed to call an ambulance.

“I woke up on a cold steel trolley in hospital and was pretty quickly sent on to Sydney on one of the inaugural Air Ambulance flights,” he said.

“My jaw, cheekbone and eye socket were all destroyed.

“The eye was gone and my face was full of gravel and debris.

“The surgeons performed seven hours of what they called patch-up surgery, because they weren’t sure I’d survive.”

Mr Cantrill returned to driving eight months later but endured five years of orthodontic and plastic surgery.

A few years later, he and his wife moved to Queensland and joined the Salvation Army as full time officers and moved all over the state, working in places like Rockhampton Family Services, Cairns Shelter for Homeless Men and Riverview Hostel for long-term alcoholics, and the pastoral care office in Dalby.

“I’ve seen a lot over the years, some I wish I hadn’t, but plenty of good too, people turning their lives around,” he said. “I’m retired now but I still volunteer three or four days a week doing office work or the street ministry.

“Warwick is certainly different to when we first came here 15 years ago.

“Some things aren’t so good.

“I’m not sure amalgamation was the best option across the board, there are positives and negatives but we have two very different areas with very different tourism expectations.

“Historically I think we’re entering a new phase, diversification is important and I’d like to see a bigger council; more councillors might mean better representation.

“There also seems to be a general apathy in society, an attitude of ‘it’s not my problem’, but having said that, there are a lot of caring helpful people, just not the majority.

“More could be done to make the area more business friendly and I think Warwick needs to be promoted more as a nice place to live, because it is.”



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