Today I planned to write a post about our trip to Nelson in the far south-west of Victoria, that we have just returned from. We drove down last Wednesday, through towns such as Digby, Dartmoor and Drik Drik, tiny communities which feature in my blog particularity the Passing of the Pioneers posts. As we turned into the Winnap/Nelson Road and entered the Lower Glenelg National Park, the beauty of the area was obvious. I was particularly taken by the number of wild flowers on the side of the roads, pink, white and yellow .
I also made a note of the Drik Drik cemetery which I hoped to visit on our way home. Ian Marr on his Cemeteries of S.W. Victoria site describes the cemetery –
“The most notable feature is the rather impressive entrance. On each side of the gates are honour rolls for both World Wars. The graves are mostly centred in one area, with a small grouping in the far right, front corner.
Drik Drik cemetery is the resting place of many of the pioneers I have written about. They include William Mullen and his wife Emma Holmes, Robert Arthur Lightbody, Mary Hedditch and her husband James Malseed and the McLeans. Descendants of these families still live in the area.
The temperature quickly reached 43 degrees Celsius Friday leading to an itinerary shuffle. Friday afternoon, while at Nelson we received a CFA text message warning us that fire was 18 kilometres east of Nelson at Kentbruk.
On Saturday, the fire was still out of control and as we hadn’t made our planned trip to Mt. Gambier, rather than head back toward the fire we would go home via nearby Mt Gambier.
Today, four days after it started, as I sit here at home, smoke from the fire is beginning to become visible to the south. The fire is still out of control and threatening the community of Drik Drik and the town of Dartmoor. You may remember Dartmoor and the fantastic Avenue of Honour I posted on back in April. Again we were going to stop on the way home and take some photos. Also the road that led us into the area, the Winnap/Nelson road is now closed
Instead of posting about our holiday, I would like to wish everyone living in the area well and hope that soon life can return to normal. While they are no strangers to bushfire that never makes it easier to deal with. But they are from hardy stock down that way, it’s in the blood. My thoughts are also with the wonderful firefighters working hard in difficult terrain.
In these times, I also think of the wildlife which is abundant and diverse through the Lower Glenelg National Park and the adjacent Cobboboonee National Park. May serenity soon return to their lives and they can graze again among the wildflowers, pink, white and yellow.
Postscript: Since I started this post, a fire is now burning out of control at Chepstowe and Carngham around 20 kilometres from home. There are reports of homes lost including an unconfirmed report that the historic Carngham Station homestead has been destroyed. I will keep you posted.
Further Update on Carngham Station: Tonight it was confirmed that the homestead at Carngham Station was lost in today’s fire. A photo released on Twitter tonight reveals the devastation. .
6 thoughts on “Thinking of the Far S.W.”
Beautifully written Merron. Having been trapped in a bushfire, as a young child, the horror and terror has never left and join you in sending my very best wishes to all at this terrible time.
Thank you Catherine. I’m sorry to hear about your own bushfire experience, I can’t imagine what that would be like. A little good news tonight, the fire has slowed down and the firefighters are starting to get it under control.
Phew!!! yes, thank heavens. Well, thanks to those wonderful Fire-Fighters who risk life and limb. Happened upon a 1914 Poem on Trove tonight and as I blogged about it, was thinking of you and your post. It truly is a wonderful tribute to our Fire-Fighters. You might like to have a look on: http://caiteile.com/2013/01/09/the-brave-fire-fighters/ With best wishes to you, and yours, and my thoughts are with all whose, lives and livelihoods are at risk at this terrible time of the year.
Hello Merron… I want to thankyou for the information you provide and the pleasure I get from your thorough research. Your Trove searches are brilliant. It therefore gives me great pleasure to nominate you for the “Blog of the Year 2012 Award” and do hope you’ll accept. The details can be found on: http://caiteile.com/2013/01/10/blog-of-the-year-2012-award-2nd-star/ Cheerio for now.
It is so sad when we lose our historic sites this way, but the loss of people is of course the most tragic. I’m always sad to see the impact of fire on wildlife and stock. It’s a tough country isn’t it.
I had also nominated you yesterday for Blog of the Year Award for your contribution to documenting the lives of Western District Pioneers.
Thank you so much for your nomination Pauline, that is an honour. Thank you so much for the support you give me and other Australian geneabloggers.
It is a tough country and we just have to live with the elements. We were talking snakes on Twitter last night, just another of the perils of living in Australia.
It was sad to lose Carngham Station, but you are right the loss of people is more tragic. There were some very lucky escapes in that particular fire.