Bajool to toast life one year after devastation tomorrow
CAREY Spreadborough tries to remain philosophical about all that was lost when a flood tore through her home town of Bajool 12 months ago.
"You've got to focus on what you do have, not what you don't have," she says, relaxing under the pergola, one of the few family possessions that survived the hungry floodwaters.
"We've got our family and that's the most important thing."
Tomorrow, a year on from that fateful day, the community will come together to celebrate the town, the resilience of its residents and the generosity of so many who helped rebuild a shattered community.
Homes and businesses on the western side of Bajool were inundated when ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald dumped more than 800mm on the township on January 25, 2013.
The anniversary event is fittingly named Creating Memories of Courage and Unity and Strength. It will start at 4.30pm in the Bajool School of Arts Hall.
It will involve the screening of a documentary about the flood event, filmed by BushTV, a sausage sizzle and the presentation of regional community awards.
"We want to bring everybody back together because it was such a whirlwind when it happened," Carey said.
"When it was over, everyone went back to trying to survive, just getting through each day."
She expects there will be a mix of emotions at the community get-together. Tears well in her eyes as she flashes back to that harrowing day.
"Let's laugh, let's cry," she says, "Bring the tissues and tears, the hugs..."
It's been a gruelling 12 months but the township is starting to get back on its feet.
Tomorrow will also mark the official opening of the Bajool Hotel, which was hit hard.
Murky water was lapping at the bar at the peak of the flooding.
The High St building needed a complete overhaul. The flooring, paintwork, furniture, kitchen appliances and bedding all had to be replaced.
It re-opened in late October and lessee Shawn Elliott says that business is slowing picking up.
He was impressed at the way the town's residents and the wider community responded in the face of the natural disaster.
"If it was to ever happen again, I am sure it would be the same situation," he said.