COMMUNITY spirit is alive and well in Cummins, largely because of the tireless work of several local groups.
And with Christmas fast-approaching, those groups have again stepped-up their efforts to ready the town for the annual festive celebrations.
One such group is the Cummins & District Enterprise Committee. For nearly 10 years, it was headed by chairperson Jane Smith, who stepped down earlier this year only to be replaced by her daughter Belinda Jutzen.
Jane credits much of the feel-good atmosphere of Cummins to the Cummins District Community Bank, a branch of the Bendigo Bank.
"If they hadn't come to town then we were in trouble," she said.
"All the other major banks had left town and a lot of the shops were empty.
"But since the community bank has been here it would have put well over $1 million back into the community."
That was about 10 years ago. These days all the shops are rented and new houses are being built around the district.
In 2002, Cummins shot to national prominence when it won the Can Do Community Award for its Cummins on Track project.
It is not hard to stumble across many of the Enterprise Committee's achievements on a trip around Cummins.
Among them is the Cummins Rural Care Centre, which opened in October, 2008. It was established about because of concerns that surrounding childcare facilities in Cummins. Since opening, it has been tremendously successful with plans under way to further extend the facilities.
"That made Cummins one of the first schools to go from birth through to year 12," Jane said.
The revival of Cummins has been something that would otherwise not be possible without the support of locals, according to Jane.
"You have to get community support to get these types of things going," she said.
"The support we have received from the community has been outstanding and that has certainly been a turnaround for Cummins."
* Full report in Stock Journal, November 28 issue, 2013.