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When Dale Alcock was growing up in the Wheatbelt town of Kellerberrin, one after-school chore was stacking asbestos sheets in his family’s hardware yard.
It seemed innocent at the time, but after the building mogul lost his father Dennis to mesothelioma almost four years ago, the gravity of the situation dawned on him.
“Often with asbestos disease you tend to find out in the twilight of a person’s life, so in my father’s situation, when he was diagnosed to when he passed away was six months,” Mr Alcock said. “There is always a lingering concern in the back of your mind about Dad could be the first one in the family to get it, what about everyone else?”
Mr Alcock describes mesothelioma as the “black cloud” hanging over the building industry.
After his father died, he put forward a proposal for the Housing Industry Association to set up a charitable foundation to help improve the health and wellbeing of those in the industry.
The foundation yesterday handed over its first cheque to the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases to fund cutting-edge research into mesothelioma.
Mr Alcock, his wife Jan and Alcock Brown-Neaves Group donated $325,000 to the cause, WA Charity Direct contributed $25,000 and an extra $50,000 came from fundraising.
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