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'I'm just so grateful that people loved him as much as I do'

The front porch was Dianne Steel and her late son Cameron Britt's favourite place to sit together.
The front porch was Dianne Steel and her late son Cameron Britt's favourite place to sit together. Cathryn McLauchlan

"A TRUE and honest bloke" is how 22-year-old Cameron Britt is remembered by his former boss Rob Powell.

"He gave you everything he had ... I just loved the guy. He had a lot of respect for me, I had a lot of respect for him."

In December Cameron died when he jumped off the East Coraki Bridge.

It was a wicked twist of fate for the young man who his mother Dianne Steel said was really starting to find his feet.

 

Cameron Britt, 22, died after jumping off the East Coraki Bridge on December 11 last year.
Cameron Britt, 22, died after jumping off the East Coraki Bridge on December 11 last year. Contributed

As a teenager he dropped out of school and started an apprenticeship to become a butcher.

It wasn't for him, however, so he completed his HSC equivalency and went to university in Newcastle.

After a semester he dropped out and moved back to Coraki, which is when Mr Powell offered him a position as a labourer at Rob Powell Plumbing and his life changed.

He was doing so well that Mr Powell was planning to offer him an apprenticeship at Christmas.

"When Rob put him on he just really blossomed," Ms Steel said.

In the weeks leading up to his death Cameron became a real handyman around his mother's home, repairing the front path and replanting her garden in the backyard.

His ultimate plan was to replace the leaky, rusted roof, with the help of Mr Powell.

 

BEFORE: The community chipped in to replace Dianne Steel's roof, which her late son, Cameron Britt, was planning to fix himself.
BEFORE: The community chipped in to replace Dianne Steel's roof, which her late son, Cameron Britt, was planning to fix himself. Contributed

 

AFTER: The community chipped in to replace Dianne Steel's roof, which her late son, Cameron Britt, was planning to fix himself.
AFTER: The community chipped in to replace Dianne Steel's roof, which her late son, Cameron Britt, was planning to fix himself. Contributed

"He said to me, 'If I save up you're going to help me put it on'. And when he died, I thought, 'let's see what we can do'," Mr Powell said.

After Cameron's death, Mr Powell got in contact with Jason Matthews from Metroll and they both gathered a team of businesses and tradespeople to donate their time and products to replace the roof.

"Most builders he worked for respected him, so that's why they're all coming," Mr Powell said.

Ms Steel couldn't emphasise enough how much that meant to her.

"This is really huge for me ... I'm just so grateful that people loved him as much as I do," she said.

 

The community threw its support behind Dianne Steel and helped to replace her old, leaky roof.
The community threw its support behind Dianne Steel and helped to replace her old, leaky roof. Contributed

The new roof was installed in perfect weather conditions on Saturday.

Bluescope Steel, CSR, Sly Brothers, JH Williams, Eagles, Buildex, Lismore Paint Centre, Taubmans, Kevin Hansen Electrical and Durheim painters all got on board to replace the roof, which will be painted later this week.

Topics:  bridge coraki death northern rivers roof tragedy tribute working bee


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