Thursday, 21 January 2010

When you can't put up Christmas Lights

 As I was driving around just before Christmas I noticed that a new trend is developing in some areas. It is to put a Santa at the farm gate as it is not practical to put up Christmas lights on houses that are too far off the road or at gates that don't have electricity. As you can see some people go to a lot of trouble. Makes for wonderful scenery as you are driving.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Same day but different fire

Julie: On the same day as the Walla Walla/Gerogery Fire (see previous post) fire broke out in the Tooma area just south of Tumbarumba. This fire also caused a lot of devastation with 25 properties burnt, 1 home lost and many animals burnt. This area is on the edge of the Snowy mountains and beside the Murray River so is extraordinarily beautiful but very difficult to fight fires in. Again the rural fire fighters and property owners were almost superhuman in their efforts to save property and livestock.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fire leaves devastation in its wake

We didn't hear a lot in the media but the Walla Walla/Gerogery fires that occurred a week before Christmas were quite significant in the amount of personal trauma and damage that was caused. Five families lost their homes, including one family with 8 young children, a number of people found themselves in life-threatening situations, over 100 properties were burnt, 1000 sheep, 300 head of cattle were killed or had to be destroyed and a number of families lost their beloved pets and horses. As well as this many families were without electricity for two days and lost a lot of food they'd purchased for Christmas. All in all a pretty devastating time.

I was asked to come to the area by the Drought Support Worker from Industry and Investment NSW just before Christmas to help with some of the Chaplaincy work that we as needed and was pleased that I was able to get there. At a public meeting at Gerogery Hall on the Wed before Christmas I met a number of people who just needed to talk about their experiences, and then I was able to visit some families the next day. Whenever I do this sort of thing I am always amazed by incredible stories of heroism of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations.


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