A rift has broken out in Cobar as it seems the town is divided over whether local resident Roy Simpson should shave his beard or continue to let it grow!
Roy’s wife of 30 years, Lillian, is all for her husband keeping his be-whiskered countenance however some of Roy’s friends are adamant the abundant harvest of chin hair should definitely go.
Good friend Margaret Potter said she doesn’t like beards at all.
“Roy’s beard ages him. He’s got nice clear skin and the beard detracts from his looks,” Margaret said.
She is all for Roy shaving his beard off.
A ‘pro beard’ man, Ben Hewlett encourages Roy to continue growing his crop.
“When I shaved my beard off my wife Mandy cried and the kids freaked out.
“I would wake up in the morning surrounded by the kids staring at me,” Ben told The Cobar Weekly.
“Growing a beard is like watching a child grow: you care for it and people always mention how much its grown since they last saw it, how it’s changing shape or colour, etc.”
Ben said having a beard helps him to meet new people.
“Nobody has ever walked up to a stranger and said ‘that looks like a good shave, what razors do you use?’
“But countless upon countless times I have stood at a bar and had a stranger remark, ‘That’s a good beard’ and bam! An instant friend,” Ben said.
Now that his beard has grown back, Ben said he, Mandy and their family are all very happy.
“My wife just remarked, under oath, that she loves how manly it makes me look.”
Roy’s been growing beards on and off over the years and last grew a full beard in November 2015 for Movember.
“It wasn’t received very well by some of our friends while others liked it,” Lillian said.
At the end of November Roy shaved it off but after recently looking at some bearded photos, Roy decided to start growing it again.
“Older ladies protested, but some of his younger lady friends said he looked distinguished, so he decided to keep it,” Lillian said.
As Roy seemed to be getting a lot of comments about his beard (both good and bad), Lillian decided the controversial subject had the makings of being a fundraiser.
She plans to put out two buckets at a number of locations around town to collect money: one will take donations for Roy to shave his offending beard off, the other will collect money to keep his rebellious bristles.
Whichever option wins, all of the money collected with go to the Services Club’s Shave for a Cure fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation.
The Simpsons know first hand the good work the foundation does.
“While I was going through the leukemia process, whilst I didn’t use a lot of their services such as the car and the accommodation and that sort of thing, I saw a lot of people doing that, plus the research that’s being done for leukemia is just magnificent,” Lillian told The Cobar Weekly.
“They told me that if I had of contracted what I had 15 years ago I wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale.”
She said Roy’s beard fundraiser was a chance for them to “give something back” for the assistance they received.
While Roy doesn’t believe his beard will reach Lumberjack, Bondi Hipster or Bushranger length or thickness by the Services Club’s Shave for a Cure event on March 19 (as it gets too hot and itchy), he does however think his ‘love curls’ will be looking mighty fine.
Lillian likes his beard and hopes it will stay; Ben wants Roy to keep the beard so that he can meet more people; Margaret is campaigning hard for it to go so Roy will regain his youthful looks; and Roy remains neutral on the subject.
It will however be up to the Cobar public to decide the outcome of Roy’s furry face.