THE strength of a community is often measured by its ability to unite or come together in times of crisis or acute need.
The depth of that strength is not always apparent in every-day situations. But when a crisis occurs, triggering an automatic response to band together for the greater good, some extraordinary examples of human nature at its best become apparent.
This was witnessed on North Stradbroke Island on Saturday, when the community joined forces to help a local couple and highlight Straddie's true strength of character and its true colours.
It has swiftly reacted to the heartbreak of a popular local couple coping with a devastating fire and personal injury.
Added to this was the loss of the Dunwich Post Office a crucial meeting place for the township, both socially and economically.
Out of a town tragedy has risen a great feeling of closeness on the island.
It has signalled an awakening that the community needs to do more to celebrate and cherish what it has.
Saturday's fund-raising carnival for Hetty and Brian Conlon, the licensees of the Dunwich Post Office, show they are clearly a valued part of the island life.
The event also showedhow united the island is in its aim to rebuild both physically and emotionally after the post office fire.
Dunwich resident Robyn Mortimer, who organised the fund-raising day, said every business and group on North Stradbroke Island donated something to assist with the prizes and auction items.
This day signalled the start of a new era for Dunwich. The community has been reminded of what it has and how valuable it is to them.
The small island community can now move forward with the knowledge it is united and people are willing to help those in need and in times of crisis.
Its next stage will be to define those values publicly and work towards having the whole community respect those values.