Our “Local Matters” series shares stories from Kleenheat’s LPG (gas cylinder) network, with a visit to Neil MacDonald at Vasse General Store uncovering some of the reasons he’s enjoyed tremendous community support across 17 years.
Vasse is a small town with big heart located two and half hours’ drive south of Perth.
Often a scheduled stop for those spending long weekends or holiday periods in WA’s gorgeous South West, it’s also a place where the the importance of community is clear.
It’s here we caught up with Neil MacDonald, of Vasse General Store, who’s anything but your standard small business owner.
Neil’s genuine, compassionate and committed to his community – traits which fuel his reputation as one of the region’s most dedicated servants and this year paved the way for an Order of Australia Medal for outstanding service in the region.
Going the extra mile
Never lost in the spotlight, Neil keeps his feet firmly grounded and treats our visit like any other day as we ride along on his afternoon LPG cylinder deliveries. The carpool conversation feels like speaking with an old friend, and Neil is happy to open his home to chat further.
We soon learn, for Neil, a little elbow grease goes a long way – whether it’s reigniting a customer’s heating system during a cylinder delivery or going out of his way for a last-minute mission in the dark to help keep a local’s gas supply going strong.
He’s quick to point out the store isn’t a one-man operation. It represents the rich, growing history of the town. Much of its success is chalked up to the support of his wife Gloria, who manages the logistics, and his dedicated staff.
A simple approach to community
As much as Neil’s efforts continue to influence and strengthen the local Vasse community, he’s quick to point out any positive impact can’t be achieved alone – it’s the support of friends that makes his job much easier.
“I’ve always been of the idea that if people support you, you support them,” he said.
And he certainly walks the talk. Local friends manned the shopfront selling mandarins when we dropped by, while others popped in offering their time to assist with the weekly sausage sizzle.
It’s clear Neil lives and breathes the notion of ‘paying it forward’ – doing unto others without asking for anything in return. Business hours are no excuse when others face difficult situations and he’s no stranger to going the extra mile to answer the call.
Together, Neil and Gloria play an important role enriching the Vasse community – sharing with us some of the key reasons local matters.
Vasse General Store
28 Northerly Street, Vasse WA 6280
Kleenheat LPG – more places, more often
Kleenheat has been WA’s local LPG provider for more than 60 years, with success built on delivering reliable service and support, developing new relationships and strengthening existing ones.
Our LPG network delivers more places more often thanks to the support of dedicated local Kleenheat dealers, just like Neil, offering the best possible service and value.