Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018
Katherine Times; NewspaperNT
Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
North Australian News for Katherine Times
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
North Australian News for Katherine Times
'98 FLOOD- 20 YEARS ON Wednesday January 24, 2018KATHERINETIMES10 katherinetimes.com.au FE FAHEY had dreamed of opening her own store ever since she was a little girl. So when the floods of 1998 robbed her of everything, she had no choice but to start again. It was very hard to start again. I had to borrow a lot of money and it took a long time to recover. But what else could I do, I lovemy store so I had to try again, and life goes on, Ms Fahey said. A lot of businesses did not open again, she said. Ms Fahey, who has owned FesVariety Storeon themain street of Katherine since 1991, did not have flood insurance in 1998. We had normal insurance not for floods, I never thought it would flood like that, Ms Fahey said. Sometimes it is hard to talk about it, even after 20 years it is still sad. I think people in Katherine are very tenacious and want to help each other out. I am so lucky that I live in this community. Ms Fahey, who features in a flood video at the Katherine Museum, said tourists still come into her store each day and recognise her as the woman from the video. Fe Fahey is a true blue Aussie battler DESTROYED: Fe's Variety Store is ruined by the 1998 flood but Fe Fahey pledges to keep her dream alive. Picture: Toni Tapp-Coutts GULF START: Cyclone Les was downgraded to a depression as it crossed the Top End but still dropped record amounts of rain in the Katherine River catchment. BACK IN BUSINESS: Fe Fahey's popular retail store and cheery smile is a mainstay of the Katherine Terrace shopping precinct. Heartbreaking time for all RUNNING a business in Katherine for a quarter of a century has not been without its challenges for locals Cathy and Peter Farnden. After operating their framing business, Gallop Thru Time Gallery and Framing for 25 years, the couple have their sights set on retirement. From the first day we opened the doors, we have always had work coming in, every day, every week, Mr Farnden said. It has been an interesting 25 years, he said. Mr Farnden said the Australia Day floods of 1998 were a challenge for the small business. We nearly got wiped out and could only sell part of the stock, Mr Farnden said. It was heartbreaking and very emotional, but we put our best foot forward. We did not hang up the hat like a lot of other people did, we came back, Mr Farnden said. Mrs Farnden said she will miss Katherine when the pair eventually move back down south. When we have had out knockbacks we have just picked ourselves up and kept going, Mrs Farnden said I hope someone does buy the business, the town does not need another place to close. Mrs Farnden said her husband has framed pretty much everything you could imagine, from hats and flags to crocodile hides and swords in their studio on Katherines First Street. It will be sad to leave here, we have contributed to so many different events and groups in Katherine. But we are ready for the next step in our journey, she said. WhenMrandMrsFarnden passed through Katherine in 1982 on a road trip around Australia they never expected they would still be here 35 years later. We were doing an 18 monthworking holiday drive around Australia, before the kids started school, Mrs Farnden said. Mr Farnden said theywere enamored with the laid back lifestyle Katherine had to offer. The whole Territory was fascinating, to us it was like the last frontier. It was exciting and there was lots to do, we loved the people and the weather, Mr Farnden said. The couple who originally hail from Victor Harbour, South Australia will be making the pilgrimage back home after three decades in Katherine. We started the business as a hobby back in 1992. I was putting mirrors into recycled timber frames, Mr Farnden said. An artist came along and asked Peter to frame some of their artwork and they were really impressed with what they saw,Mrs Farnden said. In early 1993 I entered the national framing competition. We got fifth place out of 137 other framers in Australia and New Zealand, Mr Farnden said. We just wanted some constructive criticism, we never expected he would get a prize out of it,Mrs Farnden said. Realising he could turn his hobby into his profession, the Fardens moved their business into a shop front on First Street in Katherine. It washeartbreakingand very emotional, but we put our best foot forward. Peter Farnden BY LYDIA LYNCH