Ros's Story

Ros from Mt. Evelyn, Victoria, has a special connection with Marysville, as she explains in her letter:

"Marysville has always had a very special place in our hearts because when we owned Arrabri Lodge in East Warburton, Marysville was a good place to escape when we were able to leave our managers in charge. It was not too far away, but far enough to feel as though we were away from work. We spent many long lunches and weekend retreats at Marysville. We were both devastated to see the town when we visited again 3 months after the fire.

"My husband Steve owes his life to Marysville's doctor, Lachlan Fraser, who diagnosed that he had a very rare heart disease when Lachlan was the doctor at Warburton. Three doctors had previously missed it. Steve is perfectly well now after having heart surgery consequent to Lachlan's diagnosis.

"There is a story behing this block that I have done for the quilt. When we owned the business in Warburton, one of our managing couples had a cushion made for my 50th birthday. I really loved it and it still sits on the lounge in the family room. We sold the business not long after that and they stayed on with the new owners. Eventually they went to live and work in one of the guest houses in Marysville. On Black Saturday, that place, like most others in Marysville, was destroyed. For a week we were not able to find out if they had survived. During that week I worked on a replica of the cushion they gave me in the hope that I would be able to give it to them. They did survive, but lost absolutely everything they owned. My cushion has taken on more significance now, as it is a reminder of that horrendous day and the hope I had that our friendship had survived. The block I have done is a smaller version of the original cushion."

Thank you for sharing this moving story with us, Ros. I met Lachlan on Black Saturday when he, myself, my mother and a number of others assisted at an accident when the wild winds that blew up suddenly just before the fire blew a large gum tree onto a car, trapping its owner inside. It was some time before we could get the SES there to safely extract the woman, and several people helped care for her and tried to get the branches off. Lachlan said to my mum Rosalie, "I think after this is over, we had all better go home, get packed and get out of here." But he also told Mum that he planned to stay and defend his own house, just two houses up from where we were staying. And that is what he did. He was unsuccessful in saving the house and spent the night on Gallipoli Oval with other folk from the town, rendering whatever help and comfort he could. Like Ros, for a week we did not know if he had got through alive. We were greatly relieved when we read confirmation of his survival.

Recently Lachlan, who is a long distance runner, ran 90km from Marysville to Melbourne (!!!) to raise awareness for the Marysville Marathon Festival to be held in Marysville on Sunday November 8th. There is even a 3km walk/run which sounds more manageable for those of us who might not quite be up to Lachlan's standard!

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