IT’S the little town with a big heart.
Boggabri residents banded together in their darkest of hours when an out-of-control bushfire roared through properties on the outskirts of town on Sunday afternoon.
Dozens of farmers tried helplessly to save properties – whether it was their own or their neighbours – as they worked alongside fire crews battling the blaze that would later burn through 1000 hectares.
It was a true show of mateship and camaraderie. Dozens of volunteers desperately did what they could as the fire tore through the lower paddocks in an easterly direction toward Binalong Road.
Some assisted with fighting the fire directly, others dropped off donations of food and water.
The fire was contained Sunday night, but residents woke to utter devastation on Monday.
At least one home and a number of outbuildings were destroyed in the blaze.
Among the worst hit was “Benalabri”, owned by Boolah Partnership.
Four-hundred hectares of land, some sheds and a range of machinery were reduced to nothing.
Two staff lost everything when the “Benalabri” homestead burnt to the ground.
In an even more cruel blow, one of the staff was away helping his family fight fires in Dunedoo when the Boggabri fire claimed his home.
Mother Nature is a fierce and ferocious force.
But in devastating blows like this, it is the great Aussie spirit of mateship that rises from the ashes and wins out.
Fire victims, Andrew Watson of “Kilmarnock” and Sam Conway of Boolah Partnership, are living proof that emergencies can bring the best out in people.
The local blokes are hosting a barbecue at the Boggabri RSL on Friday to thank the fire crews and volunteers who helped them in their hours of need.
The pair said the fire could have gone a lot further than it did without the help of an army of volunteers, and this is their way of saying thanks.
Losing land or possessions to a fire is devastating enough.
But these men have admirably seen the positive side of it by giving back to the community that helped them.
The old adage of “the small town with a big heart” has never rung more true.
We could all take a leaf out of their book.