Cyclone Debbie caused a great deal of damage to buildings, fences, sign posts but mainly to trees. So many are stripped bare and the mountainside, although slowly recovering resembles an area burnt out by bushfire. The clean-up continues and everywhere you look there are teams of tradies trucks and machinery parked outside properties in the throes of assessing or repairing damaged buildings.
I would normally awake to the sound of bird song as my property backs onto a national park. Today it was to the very loud sound of an industrial vacuum cleaner.
Today was the day for me to meet with our Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox at his office in the Council Chambers in Proserpine. Sadly Cyclone Debbie damaged the Office in Proserpine so all the staff has disbanded and been relocated to other Council buildings within the Whitsundays Regional Council areas.
Councillor Willcox’s lovely P.A. Nellie greeted me at his office at Bowen and accompanied me and Barry up the stairs and into the office of Mayor Willcox who offered us a warm welcome. I am amazed at how well our Mayor looks when you consider that it is less than a month since Cyclone Debbie hit. He was in the thick of the disaster and into full recovery mode once the danger had passed. He can’t have slept for weeks!
I was delighted to be able to fill Mayor Willcox in on my trip to Ireland to present a Conference paper at the Clans and Surnames Conference in Nenagh, Tipperary and then let him know how the planning for my High Tea celebration at Enniscorthy Castle is unfolding.
Mayor Willcox dedicated a lovely sentiment from the people of the Whitsundays to the people of Enniscorthy in the Airlie Beach book. He penned a warm and welcome letter to Chairman Wexford County Council Paddy Kavanagh. After such an enormous natural disaster as Cyclone Debbie was, Cllr. Willcox still has time to take an interest in his constituents.