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St. John Ambulance Australia (N.T.)
St. John Ambulance Australia (N.T.)
Vollie News Thursday 15th May 2014 Page 8 A frog which we named Lulu, lived in the toilet. Most of the time, the boys thought this was great and enjoyed giving her a shower if she was in the bowl, but Dale and I were not keen on sitting down if she was there so we would flush first in the usually successful hope of washing her through. Often when she was not in the bowl and one thought she had gone but a long leg would come down from under the rim when it was flushed. She lived there for several months then failed to appear and we were just a little disappointed when we thought she had found a new home. Then when we moved we were sad to find a very dehydrated frog under a cabinet. The garden was very overgrown and the clothes line was over gravel and every time I went out there the Sand Flies thought I was gourmet lunch. Their bites itched and oozed and at one time the children counted 235 on my body. When I tackled the garden I found I was allergic to the little hairs on the creeper that had climbed up and around every tree and bush so as well as the sand fly bites I was covered with an itchy rash. I was quite a mess and glad that I didnt have to go to school or work like the rest of the family. The house was in Quarry Crescent, Stuart Park and although a couple of other houses were standing most had been cleared just leaving the stumps with the house floor on top and usually a toilet and laundry underneath. The Government brought in caravans and put one each side of the slab so they could house 2 families on one block. Under the slab next door to us were a Fire-fighter and a Police man, both with families so we considered our street would be well catered for in any emergency. We had only been in the NT a couple of months when Warren came home from a council meeting upset and told me he wanted me to take the children home to Adelaide and he would follow later. I never found out what upset him so much at that council meeting, but as I knew that God had been setting things in motion for years preparing us to do that particular job in that place I told him that I was not going to be a scapegoat for him, but that if he resigned and went home I would accompany him. Up to the next Christmas every conversation I had with anyone anywhere, came around to Where you here when.? And every time there was a strong wind any children who had been through the cyclone became very frightened. I was surprised that it was the noise of the wind that frightened people. Not the wind itself or the rain, just the noise of the wind. I guessed that because the cyclone happened at night that was their most vivid memory. For the 5 years we were there every visitor got a tour of the cyclone remnants; the cross bar of a telegraph pole through a tree trunk, a sheet of galvanised iron wrapped around a branch high in a tree and of course all the houses with only stumps and floors left. Knowing we only had the house until the company rep returned, when a caravan came up for sale Warren purchased it and when the time came we moved it to the block at Casuarina. When I first saw that block the elephant grass was way over everyones heads and I remember when they burnt it off, all the mice ran out. The Service placed on the block a small transportable that was used for a day time crew room and our caravan went there also. Next to that block was the Baptist Church where we had worshipped since we arrived, then the Fire and the Police Stations. Although most of the Baptist Church building had been razed they still had both male and female toilets and showers more or less repaired and working and we were able to use them. At one time there were 14 families in caravans on the church block and us on the block next door all using those toilet facilities. One could not say I am going out tonight, I will pop across and have a shower and get changed before I go because you could find several people waiting and have to wait your turn. But I dont remember any ill feeling or discordance about this, we just adjusted. One factor that I was very grateful for at that time was that the Air-conditioned crew room was only used during the day and Dale, who was in her first year at Casuarina High School could adjourn to the peace, quiet and cool of that in the evening to do her homework. Part 3 next week