It all hap­pened at Dougie’s

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

A Ger­man woman who had flown to Port Dou­glas for her daugh­ter’s wed­ding - which is to­day - had only been in the town for a few hours on Sun­day when she was twice bit­ten by a snake.

Ger­tie Sandic, of Frank­furt, was at­tended by am­bu­lance of­fi­cers and taken to Moss­man and even­tu­ally all the way to Cairns to stay in hos­pi­tal overnight, mostly as a safety pre­cau­tion though as it seemed ap­par­ent the snake bite was not ven­omous.

For her new son-in-law, Ir­ish-born Mike Flavin, it was yet another chap­ter in the en­twined and colour­ful story of his love life and Port Dou­glas.

The long road to to­day’s beach­side wed­ding cer­e­mony with his fi­ancee Ju­lia Kabli­novic be­gan al­most seven years ago when Mike, back­pack­ing in Aus­tralia and look­ing for work, got a job at the renowned Dougie’s Back­pack­ers ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plex.

Like many, he en­joyed the life­style and a short stay turned in a long one, about 14 months. It was at the end of this time he met the blonde Ju­lia. But he was leav­ing Port Dou­glas for Syd­ney and she had to de­cide, hav­ing met him just three days ear­lier, whether to go too.

So she joined Mike and two other fel­las in a tiny Nis­san Mi­cra - with five back­packs - for the trek to Syd­ney.

But it came time to part and Ju­lia de­cided she didn’t want a boyfriend in Aus­tralia and so gave him a wrong phone num­ber. How­ever she left her di­ary be­hind and had to go back to him to re­trieve it . . .

Even­tu­ally both went back to Ire­land, had a daugh­ter, So­phie- Sue ( now 6), and then re­lo­cated to a house just across the street in Frank­furt from Ger­tie.

So they are here now, with var­i­ous fam­ily mem­bers and friends for the big oc­ca­sion. And of course they’re stay­ing at Dougie’s, where it be­gan.

Ger­tie had gone up to the toi­let block in the early evening and in the dark­ness stepped on some­thing at the out­side steps. ‘‘I looked down and saw it coiled around my legs,’’ she said. She shook it away and went and told Mike, who iden­ti­fied the two small punc­ture wounds on her left leg, and he raced off and got the am­bu­lance guys who are based nearby.

For Ger­tie, as ready to fear Aus­tralia’s wildlife as any other Euro­pean is, it was all those fears come true. ‘‘Why did I come here with th­ese an­i­mals?’’ she asked her­self. It was only the next day that she saw more bite marks higher up on the other leg and re­alised the ex­tent of the at­tack.

By Tues­day though, when the Gazette caught up with the wed­ding party, Ger­tie was en­joy­ing the swim­ming pool and the last of the wed­ding plans were be­ing put in place. Ev­ery­one was bright and happy, en­joy­ing a beau­ti­ful sunny day in par­adise. So­phie-Sue was telling any­one who’d lis­ten about her ‘‘ooma’’ be­ing bit­ten by a snake.

‘‘We can all laugh about it now,’’ said Ju­lia, and in­deed Ger­tie was all smiles as Port Dou­glas cast its spell. ‘‘We’re here, we’re back in Dougie’s, Port Dou­glas, you couldn’t not en­joy your­self, you know,’’ says the af­fa­ble Mike. All that was miss­ing was Ju­lia’s sis­ter’s lug­gage, with the brides­maid’s dress.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

TY­ING THE KNOT: Julie Kabli­novic and Mike Flavin with mother-in-law to be Ger­tie Sandic

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.