Ipswich community comes together after losing one of its own

The Ipswich community has come together in honour of a much-loved local business owner who lost his battle with cancer last week.

Steve McMeniman of Two Butchers in Springfield, who has been described as a selfless Aussie larrikin, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The local community rallied around Mr McMeniman after news of his health battle was made public two weeks ago.

Mr McMeniman’s Two Butchers colleagues said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

“Steve was a formidable man who inspired so many and whose love for people, giving, and helping others shines through all whose lives he touched,” they said in Facebook post.

“The overwhelming outpouring of grief that we have received in the last few days is a true testament to the kind heart, joyful nature and generous spirit that enveloped all whose lives he touched.

“We would like to sincerely thank you all for your support and love through this difficult time.”

Springfield’s Two Butchers Ken Kearney and Steve McMeniman. Image: Facebook

That support has come in many forms.

Local businesses and customers changed their social media profile pictures in honour of Mr McMeniman, sent a flood of messages of love and support, and, after Mr McMeniman’s passing, lined the Two Butchers’ storefront with flowers.

Two Butchers was also inundated with requests for their ‘never give up’ shirts, which they wore in support of Mr McMeniman.

“We’ve had so many requests for purchasing our ‘never give up’ cancer shirts, and many messages from our customers and community that are fighting the same battle and would like to purchase a shirt,” they said in a Facebook post.

“We know how it feels – the battle you and your loved ones are fighting. We are also behind you!”

Two Butchers printed a limited number of additional shirts in support of other cancer fighters. Local businesses stepped up to help out where they could, including Big W in Springfield who donated the shirts and local printer A & J Picture Framing & Imaging who printed the shirts at cost.

Shows of support for Mr McMeniman are now popping up across the nation, with butchers from all corners of Australia putting their knives out for their “butcher brother”.

Two Butchers said they were lost for words.

“Wow, we are yet again moved by the love and support, not just from our amazing customers and community, but from butchers across Australia,” they said in a Facebook post.

“Butcher shops are family-owned and always support their community.”

Flowers lined the Two Butchers storefront on Sunday. Image: Facebook

Butchers across Australia were putting their knives out in honour of Mr McMeniman. Image: Facebook 

A Gofundme page set up by Mr McMeniman’s friend Nick Clark has also raised more than $17,300 in just over two weeks. 

“I am truly grateful for all that has been generously donated,” Mr Clark said in a statement on the Gofundme page.

The funds raised will go to Mr McMeniman’s family. 

Two Butchers has since reopened their store, saying while it was difficult to open without Mr McMeniman, it’s what he would have wanted.

“Two Butchers was a dream that Steve and Ken had and the dream will continue,” they said on social media.

“For those who knew Steve well, he would say ‘Hold it flat, never give up’.”

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