By Mick Jensen
It’s big, bushy and there’s more than a hint of grey and its coming off on Alister Smith’s birthday.
The 56-year-old Rakaia local has been growing his beard for nine months and more recently decided to use it to fundraise for the Rakaia Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Alister is a regular beard grower and facial hair of various lengths has come and gone at regular intervals over the years.
Twenty years ago he sported a very long beard.
This year’s effort is also impressive, but is destined to disappear next month for a worthy cause.
Alister, who works at Rakaia Engineering, hopes to raise in the region of $1000 to help with the cost of a first response vehicle for the Rakaia Fire Brigade.
He has set up collection boxes around the township, including at the Railway Tavern, South Canterbury Hotel, Salmon Tales and Rakaia Foodstore.
“The brigade is local, manned by local people and does a great job, so it’s a no brainer to support it,” he said.
The beard will be taken off at 5pm on November 5 at the Railway Tavern and locals are urged to support the event.
If the $1000 target is reached, good sort Alister is also happy to lose the hair on his head as well.