The story of local radio, a local restaurant and a local community…

We’re all in this together.

As the station manager of Highland FM 107.1, Adam Stokeld, left the station late the other night, on Station Street, in the heart of idyllic Bowral, he noticed a faint light in the Thai restaurant across the road. A man was sitting with his head rested on a table. 
Adam told this story on the station’s facebook page:

Out of concern I knocked at the door to enquire and a very distressed Jack, the owner of New Jack Thai Restaurant came outside. Jack explained that he did not want to cry in front of his family, “must be strong”, he said. After paying staff he had only a few dollars left and as he could see no way to continue with the restaurant, he would close forever. 

Jacks Thai Restaurant has been in Bowral (on the corner opposite the Milk Factory) for over 23 years. I suggested he talk with the landlord, the bank etc, but Jack has lost his will, is confused and depression has taken over.

I guess this is a story that we will hear many times over during the Covid-19 crisis.  I admit that I’ve had a few grumbles about having to bunker down at home and give up doing many activities that I enjoy, but I realise that in comparison, my woes are insignificant.

What sets Jack apart with his story is that during the bush fire crisis, he supplied hundreds of meals free to help feed the firefighters on the front lines. Not that he could afford it, he just felt he was giving something back to those who were helping him.

I reckon a man who has given so generously to support his community is truly worthy of support in return. Not that he expects it.

At 11 pm that night, I wrote a sponsorship announcement, sent it to the station’s production manager and by 9am that morning it was being played on radio. Jack is now crying for a different reason and his phone has started to ring. 

So people, if you are feeling like a Thai meal, or just want a night off, Jack’s Thai do takeaways or deliveries. You won’t be disappointed, the food is great.

Nice too if you mention that you heard it on Highland FM as Jack was thinking that nothing can beat the virus. “Radio won’t help, nothing can help”. How great it would be to prove him wrong.

I tried to relay this story on radio and became too emotional to finish. 

So, this is Jack’s story but no doubt there are many more heart-wrenching stories of hardship that will remain in the cover of darkness. 

They are real and that’s why we need to give as much support as we can muster, to give to our struggling local businesses.

Adam Stokeld
Station Manager
Highland FM 107.1



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