The Northern Territory news Fri 28 Nov 2014
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28 2014 NEWS 09 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Fay Karamanakis says her beloved dog Blackie who saved her familys life was among the dogs shot by authorities in the aftermath of Tracy Picture: KATRINA BRIDGEFORD Hero repaid with bullet THE shooting of stray dogs in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Tracy is not a subject that authorities have spoken about willingly in the past 40 years. But in tomorrows special NT News Cyclone Tracy commemoration feature, long-time Darwin resident Fay Karamanakis will tell the story of her beloved labrador-cross Blackie, who was shot dead just hours after saving her familys life. The dog was one of reportedly hundreds shot by Government authorities in a bid to control roaming packs through the northern suburbs and control the spread of disease. It is one of many emotional stories shared in the NT News special magazine liftout. Mrs Karamanakis still lives in the same Wagaman house today with her husband John, rebuilding following the devastating cyclone that flattened Darwin, killed 66 people and injured hundreds more on Christmas Day 1974. When the eye came over us we thought it was over ... so we kissed and hugged, but minutes later it started again and the big noise well it was twice as bad. This time missiles were going everywhere, Mrs Karamanakis said. We thought it was the second coming of Christ ... we accepted we were going to die ... Only hours earlier Blackie had gone berserk trying to pull Mrs Karamanakis fourmonth-old Sylvia and threeyear-old Katie out of their beds in an ominous sign of events to unfold. Both girls had been asleep in their bedrooms on Christmas Eve when Blackie tore inside the elevated house as winds picked up, and headed straight to their bedrooms. He grabbed the babys sheets and pulled them and the baby knocked her head on the metal cot and started screaming, Mrs Karamanakis said. I grabbed the baby, who was blue from the impact and crying. The dog then raced into the toddlers room and pulled her from the bed as she slept, where she landed with a heavy thud on the ground. I remember holding both screaming kids in my arms and thinking this stupid dog ... I was crying with the kids, Mrs Karamanakis said. The couple then made the snap decision to race down the side stairs and out of the house . mere minutes before the roof began to peel away and the house collapsed where the girls would have been asleep. In tragic circumstances the dog was shot dead later that morning, just metres from where Mrs Karamanakis was holding her two daughters. Searing memory that will not fade AS CYCLONE Tracy lashed Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974, 18-year-old Jill McKerchar Kinang flopped backwards on to her bed. A split-second later a telephone box came hurtling through the window. If I had not flopped backwards, I would have been decapitated, she says. The telephone box continued through my bedroom and up through the roof ... I was sucked off my bed, down the length of the room and up towards the gaping hole in the roof. After her mother pulled her back into the house, she survived the night sitting in a cupboard clutching her cat in her arms, cockroaches crawling on her head to escape the rising water, and wondering how she would die. As the 40th anniversary of the storm nears, Ms McKerchar Kinang is busy planning commemorative events. She has become an unofficial organiser through a Facebook group that has reunited childhood friends she lost track of after mass evacuations emptied the city. In 1977 she left Darwin and now lives in Perth, but the geographical separation didnt help her recovery, and she was officially diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. Next month she will return to Darwin to mourn and celebrate. December 3 will be the official start of a wide-ranging calendar of events, including a multi-faith church service, a government-organised reunion and a screening of a new ABC documentary on the storm, Blown Away. The full events calendar is available at www.haveyoursay. nt.gov.au/cyclone-tracy. By NEDA VANOVAC Digger dies at barracks THE army has revealed the death of a soldier at Robertson Barracks last Thursday. The man, whose identity has not been released, was found dead in the barracks accommodation at 8.30am. The death was investigated by the NT Police Service, who found there were no suspicious circumstances. The soldiers next of kin has been informed and is being provided with counselling and welfare support. Counselling has also been provided to the soldiers colleagues. The army submitted a brief to Defence Minister David Johnson on the day of the soldiers death. Demand for answers on alcohol rehab program THE Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT (APO NT) has joined calls for the NT Government to deliver on its promise to implement a full independent evaluation of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment program. APO NT spokeswoman Priscilla Collins said an independent evaluation of the AMT scheme was needed to ensure the programs aims were being met and to ensure Aboriginal people were not being discriminated against. The Review of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act was too limited. It looked at the legal process, not the big question: whether this scheme delivers what the Government says it delivers, she said. Our people should not be subject to a very expensive experiment that deprives them of their liberty without any guarantee that it will be to their benefit. Ms Collins said finding out whether there was evidence that the scheme was working was a matter of urgency. If its not, it needs to go, she said. The public deserves to know what is really happening under the scheme, and how the Government is measuring the outcomes. The Opposition renewed calls for a review of the CLPs AMT program following the death recently of a woman being treated in the program in Alice Springs. V0 - NTNE01 Z01FB 40TH ANNIVERSA RY c y c l o n e t r a c y CHRISTMAS D AY COMMEMO RATES 40 YEA RS SINCE TRACY CH ANGED THE LAN DSCAPE REMEMBERING CYCLONE TRACY >>tales of survival >>the aftermath >>the evacuation >>the rebuild dont miss our 40-PaGe commemorative maGaZine inside the nt neWs tomorroW
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