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Max celebrates with drive-by 18th

By Daniel Hughes

A traditional 18th birthday celebration during Coronavirus restrictions was not an option for Jerilderie’s Max Roe.

So he celebrated with a drive-by party on Saturday.

More than 100 cars drove past his Jerilderie home with friends, family and community members all getting involved.

Max sat on the front lawn in his suit and tie alongside his parents, his sister Sophie and family from Yarrawonga.

A large party was originally planned for the milestone birthday, which was on Monday, May 18.

Invitations were ready for delivery before Max’s parents, Tania and Barry, had to pull the plug when Coronavirus restrictions were implemented.

None was more disappointed about this than Max, who refused his mother’s request to postpone the party.

He responded to this with ‘it won’t be my birthday later in the year’.

Mrs Roe explained that ‘‘we organised a drive-by or a photo from those invited and I was overwhelmed with what happened.

‘‘The response was incredible; people dressed up, decorated their cars and brought presents as they wished Max a happy birthday.

‘‘It went better than expected, we were blown away.’’

The Year 12 Finley High School student was thankful at the turnout.

Mrs Roe said Max is popular around town and at his school which reflected in the number of people willing to take the time to make his birthday special.

But despite the success, Max said he felt ‘‘very disappointed’’ the party had to be cancelled.

‘‘I loved the visitors driving by, my many gifts and the decorated cars and balloons, which looked terrific. I want to thank everyone.

‘‘I’m sure the Coronavirus will be over soon and we can all go back to normal.’’

Mrs Roe said Max had developed many friendships with people of all ages ‘‘so we had a lot of people from everywhere drive by and have a chat to him’’.

A highlight of the day was a custom birthday cake that incorporated some of the favourite things throughout his life including Toy Story, The Wiggles, Michael Jackson and Coca Cola.