LISMORE has lost one of the truly good Samaritans. Darcy Goodwin, who operated the Five Loaves mobile soup kitchen for almost 25 years, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning at Tweed Hospital. He had just turned 83 last Sunday.
Tributes have been flowing on Facebook, with Evelyn Daley suggesting a state funeral is in order for a man she described as "a true Australian hero who gave from his heart".
Over the years Darcy has touched the lives of thousands of people in the Northern Rivers by providing food and furniture to those who could least afford it. He was driven by a strong Christian conviction to help those less fortunate and provided meals to people in Lismore, Casino and Nimbin. He would also collect food donations from businesses and unwanted furniture and distribute them to those in need.
Darcy was a regular visitor to The Echo, often bringing a bunch of flowers for his favourite journalist, Terra Sword, whenever she had written something about him.
His tireless efforts were recognised with several awards; receiving an Australia Day award for community service in 1998, Citizen of the Year in 2001 and a Centenary award in 2003. In 2008
his work was recognised by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, a US-based humanitarian organisation.
Darcy's "offsiders", Arthur and Kara McCann came in to The Echo office on Wednesday morning to reassure people that Five Loaves services would continue.
"I told him (Darcy) that if ever anything happened to him I would keep it going," Arthur said.
The couple were doing their regular meal service at Southern Cross University on Tuesday afternoon.
"I knew he'd be up there in heaven looking down on me if I wasn't there," Arthur said.
Seventh Day Adventist minister, Keith Jackson, also reiterated his church's commitment to keeping the service going to honour Darcy's legacy.
"No one can fill Darcy's shoes, he was so unique and special, but we will do our best to step up and support Arthur and Kara continue the spirit of his work," Pastor Jackson said.
"Darcy was constantly thinking of others and his whole life was devoted to his work... He was constantly thinking of what he could do, not just feeding people, but other needs such as furniture and caring for their spiritual needs."
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said Darcy Goodwin's passing was "a really sad loss".
"He will be missed, clearly, not just by his family but by the thousands of people whose lives he has touched through food and furniture delivery all over the region," she said.
The funeral for Darcy Goodwin will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Uralba Street on Friday, August 10 from 11am. Everybody is welcome to attend.
Arthur and Kara McCann said they are always looking for more volunteers and more donations. They can be contacted on 0452076892 or via the Seventh Day Adventist Church op shop in Uralba Street.