Les Beveridge boxes up remaining stock from Cessnock store to send to Queensland bushfire victims

GENEROUS: Les Beveridge (right) hands over a box of stock to Grahame Dunnicliff from Cessnock Lions Club, who will help to organise the delivery of the goods to the Queensland bushfire victims. Picture: Krystal Sellars
GENEROUS: Les Beveridge (right) hands over a box of stock to Grahame Dunnicliff from Cessnock Lions Club, who will help to organise the delivery of the goods to the Queensland bushfire victims. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Les Beveridge has bowed out of business in Cessnock, with one final act of generosity.

Mr Beveridge was planning to close his menswear store by the end of this week, but after seeing the morning's news coverage of the Queensland bushfires, he boxed up his remaining stock on Wednesday and will send it to the sunshine state for the victims.

He contacted Cessnock Lions Club, who will help facilitate the delivery of the goods to Queensland, where at least 16 homes have been destroyed by bushfires this week.

Mr Beveridge said it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to make Wednesday his final day in business, but he's relieved the stock will be going to a good home.

He said closing the doors for the final time this afternoon would be an emotional moment, after 43 years in business, and 62 years working in Vincent Street.

LAST DAY: Les Beveridge closed his menswear store on Wednesday after 43 years in business.

LAST DAY: Les Beveridge closed his menswear store on Wednesday after 43 years in business.

Mr Beveridge said customers have been wishing him well since he started his closing down sale on July 1.

He cited a number of factors in his decision to close the business, including the rise of online shopping and larger shopping centres in nearby towns - but he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, who live interstate.

He has sold the premises, and a new business will open there in the coming weeks.

Beveridge's Menswear and Formal Hire opened in Vincent Street in 1976, after the closure of Lett's Menswear two doors down, where Mr Beveridge worked for 19 years.

Mr Beveridge has also given his time to numerous community organisations over the years, including Endeavour Industries and Cessnock Apex Club, and was named Cessnock's citizen of the year in 2013.

Fittingly, earlier this week, Mr Beveridge was named one of Cessnock Chamber of Commerce's inaugural life members (along with Alison Davey, who served as chamber treasurer for several years).

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