Nuff Nuff

Friday, April 9, 2010

Even The Best Laid Plans Can Fail

My father was trustee of the local cemetery. He took his position seriously, including preserving the towns’ history. So much so that long before the fires of Black Saturday destroyed the township of Marysville. He had copied the original burial records and distributed 3 copies through the township.

It was unthinkable that ALL the houses in Marysville would burn. Sure 50%-75% but not 99% of every building in the township destroyed beyond recognition.

These ledgers contained the memories of the township – dating back to the first settler, right back to the late 1800’s.

My mother and father knew that Marysville would burn eventually; it was only a matter of time. No-one could foresee the extent of the damage and the complete isolation the town faced that night.

That night saw the destruction of all 3 copies of the burial ledger. The original only survived because of my fathers tenacity and his knowledge that other people besides his wife were sheltering in his home, the home he saved from the fires. Only metres from the road where the fire crews were forced to retreat or die.

When it comes to precious things, be it paper or electronic media – the only message I can (and do) drum into people is many locations, many formats, it could be something like a blog that disappears (as happened to someone this week) to precious family photos, to something like a public document. You can never be too careful.

Take as many copies as you can, spread them world-wide. Keep them electronically, keep hard copies, keep copies on media back-ups. But make sure you don’t only rely on once source of back-up.

Same goes for passports and similar – send copies to a friend in a sealed envelope, with instructions that the envelope is only to be opened on your instruction or death. Send your wills, etc in the same fashion.

Until you have been faced with the utter total devastation bought about by these fires, you think it can't and won't happen to me. Fine you may never be affected by a fire of such force and destruction BUT................ you may lose you phone, your hard-drive may fail.

Here are two posts with similar messages on my other blog . I don't care where in the world you are - remember everything fails once, even the best laid plans.
Back Up, Did I say Back-Up?
How Safe is the Data in Your Safe?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Christine Nixon and Black Saturday

I wasn’t going to enter the fray regarding Christine Nixon and her dinner date whilst the state burnt, but I think now has come the time for me to discuss MY thoughts and opinions regarding this issue.

People have been loud in their support for and against Christine Nixon.

Neil Mitchell has taken a caning, yet he is only reporting what was said in the Royal Commission, word for word, public opinion took over from there.

The Thank-you concert at Federation Square last night saw Christine Nixon cheered as she approached the stage.

Kevin Rudd and John Brumby have both stood by her and say that she has done nothing wrong.
Ted Baillieu of the opposition is calling for her resignation.

Fran Bailey the local member for Parliament for the seat of McEwen, the seat hit hardest by the fires, is also calling for her resignation.

Tony Abbott is sitting on the fence, saying that “She made an error in judgment”

The blogging community can’t decide to support or sack Christine Nixon. The blog “Telling it Like it is” has made these comments on Hysteria Burning hotter than ever

Then you have the blog “” which stands on the sacking side with Nixon made un-acceptable mistake when Victoria needed her.

Only the people directly affected should really have any say. My personal opinion is YES she made an error in judgment, but what hurts the most is the fact, she tried to cover it up, either lie outright (as some have done) or tell the complete and utter truth. There is no in-between when dealing with what is now a Royal Commission and therefore a fact finding mission, not a blame game.

Remember this is MY PERSONAL OPINION and nothing more, nor less.

Christine Nixon made an error in judgment, she had a moral and ethical duty to be standing side by side and shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who were fighting the battle, be it on the ground or in the control room. She should have been there, to witness the suffering, to witness the panic, to witness the way HER organisation managed or didn’t manage all aspects of the situation.

She had a duty of care and she has been negligent in her duty.

Christine Nixon is now no longer in the position, in which she failed, perhaps that is a good thing, but to say that she needs to be sacked is a completely different thing. Perhaps she was already aware she had let ‘The side’ down on that day and by her filling the position she now does, she is compensating for the lack of care and attention.

Only one person knows and that is not you and me. Only time will tell if she is strong enough and has the guts to stand up to the critics and face her personal demons, just like those that survived that night have to do.

Also in closing remember she is not the only member of our emergency services who failed us on that day, many many people decided not to turn up to work on that day, because it was too hot, because it was Saturday. Some of the absenteeism records for that day are abysmal, she is not the only person that should be singled out if you want to play the blame game.

Yes the houses would have burnt, yes lives would have been lost, but morally she had a duty to be on duty - that's what we paid her for.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Memory – in Flames

Went to Marysville again over Easter. I’ve resisted walking around, simply because everywhere I look I see burnt stuff (Yes pun intended)

Everything I once knew has gone, changed or now seems so far from reality I can’t fathom it.

Hubby and I played tourist for all of about 10 minutes, I had to mail something and thought that to mail it from Marysville would be appropriate considering they were “The Marysville Cookbook”. We parked behind the bakery and used the mail box there.

We then took the opportunity to walk down the arcade or what’s remaining of it and onto the main street. There was photo exhibition, run by volunteers and funded with donations Go Marysville which I thought I should go and have a look at. We did,. I walked in and started looking at the room from the left hand side. I was fine until I got almost out the door and there attached to the wall was the phone box from outside the post office. The last time I saw it, it was still burning. That is something I remember. I remember other things, but that phonebox seemed so important, the reason I was in Marysville that dreadful morning was because the phones no longer worked and it seemed symbolic.

I ended up having to walk out and hide my tears. I couldn’t let others see me like this. I’m meant to be strong. I put myself in that situation; therefore I’m not allowed to say anything.

I can’t imagine what it must be like for residents. I can’t pretend to – I don’t know. All I know is they must be better and stronger people than me.

I can understand why long-time/life-time residents say they can’t and won’t return. I can sympathise with them fully.

There are some things Marysville need from what I’ve been able to understand
1. Tourism and the money it brings in, with it comes employment
2. Physical memorabilia, things like mementos, real photos, china, things from Guest houses etc
3. Photos, not just photos from the 1900’s but photos as recently as January 2009. They don’t need to be professional quality. But photos of guesthouses, of homes, of streetscapes, of shops, of people, of signs, anything that is Marysville.

Marysville will rebuild, Marysville will live on, Marysville will still have the colours of autumn, the snows of winter and the coolness of summer and the new life of spring. It takes time and support from the wider community of the city and interstate and international people. Marysville will live on.

Let your memories be happy ones, make memories. Photographs might set the scene, but can’t convey the feelings and the happiness of the times.