Territory Stories

Nature Territory



Nature Territory

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Newsletter of the Northern Territory Field Naturalists' Club Inc.


Northern Territory Field Naturalists' Club Inc.


Nature Territory; Nature Territory; E-Journals; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Natural history; Northern Territory Field Naturalists' Club; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Field Naturalists' Club Inc.

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Newsletter, February 2016

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Northern Territory Field Naturalists' Club Inc..



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Page 6 Nature Territory - February 2016 A radio is on display, from Gary Gibson, who was an amateur radio operator. He set up a station at the Darwin Community College and enabled the people to communicate with the outside world. Indeed one of the f irst people to reply was a radio operator in Malaysia. This person was told in no uncertain terms to clear the air so that Darwin could get news out to southern Australia. Three decades later this Malaysian Ham operator personally met with the Darwin radio operators. The Gibson family survived events by sheltering in a wardrobe, the all important radio in there with them. The communications route was Darwin?Wyndham-Broome-Port Hedland-Perth. With the radio there are two yellow Cyclone Registration cards on display. Holders of these cards gained immediate help from various community organisations. The twisted signal tower in the exhibit il lustrated the strength of the winds and how such a hollow framed structure can bend when wrapped in roof ing iron causing the structure to behave like a sail. The two interactive touch screen displays were informative and fun to operate. They contain a great deal of information on Tracy. For instance the number of fatalit ies the cyclone caused, 66 in total. That number being arrived at independently from two reliable sources. The tally covered all ethnic groups that resided in Darwin at that t ime. Jared explained that the worst age to have been in cyclone Tracy was, over 70 years and under 12 years. There is the story of Rusty the dog who got evacuated down south and when it was time for him to be reunited with his owners, Rusty was not to be found. His owners had been talking with the Darwin airl ine baggage handlers and they did not have Rusty on their manifests. Eventually the pilots got in touch with the owners. Rusty the dog had travelled f irst class with them in the cockpit. The HMAS Arrow exhibit is on loan from the navy. This vessel ran into and under Stokes Hill Wharf that morning, with the loss of two lives. The devastation to the wharf was considerable. As most of the infra structure of Darwin was destroyed the authorit ies were left with only one option and that was evacuation. Over 36,000 people were evacuated in 10 days. The record for the most people evacuated on a Boeing 747 was set at this time and remained until the Israeli evacuation of Ethiopia. If another cyclone hits Darwin, Jared is of the opinion that while most buildings would not succumb like those in Tracy the trees since grown would be a problem. The interactive Tracy display, before and after slider buttons indicate this in a vivid fashion. Many thanks to Jared and Richard for their insights into this exhibit.