Luke Bain is in the black. The 13-year-old autistic
Dunedin boy seemed set to run out of his favourite spread,
Marmite, today - until some generous Otago Daily Times
readers saved the day.
Luke eats his way through a 500g jar of Marmite every week.
It is the only way his family can disguise the taste of the
medication used to control his violent impulses and severe
An article on his Marmite habit was published in the
ODT last year, after production of the spread was
temporarily suspended because of the Christchurch
earthquakes. Dunedin couple Nathalie and John Huston recently
discovered three large jars of the spread when they were
cleaning out their son's house.
''I remembered the story about Luke Bain, the autistic boy
who needed it for his medication, and I wanted to give it to
them,'' Mrs Huston said.
She dropped the precious jars around to Luke's mother, Sharon
Bain, yesterday. ''I'm absolutely stoked,'' Mrs Bain said.
''We only had enough left for his toast in the morning.
''It's the only thing that hides the taste of his
Marmite manufacturer Sanitarium had to suspend its 640,000kg
annual production of the popular spread last March, when its
Christchurch factory was damaged by earthquakes. ''It is
heartwarming to see situations like this young boy in
Dunedin,'' Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden said
from Auckland yesterday.
''It is very pleasing to see people helping each other like
this and the community support for Marmite and understanding
of the situation.''
The company hoped to make a statement soon about when it
would be resuming Marmite production in Christchurch.
''Things are going quite well and we're pleased with the
progress. We did have some more equipment repairs last week
which were caused, basically, because it has been sitting
around for so long,'' Mr van Heerden said.