AIR­LIE GIVES THANKS

In Deb­bie’s wake, the heart of the reef thanks emer­gency crews

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Peter Car­ruthers Peter.Car­ruthers@ news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

EASTER is a cel­e­bra­tion of res­ur­rec­tion.

And it was for this rea­son that Good Fri­day was cho­sen as the day to cel­e­brate the res­ur­rec­tion of the Whit­sun­days af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie wreaked wide­spread havoc on the re­gion just over three weeks ago.

The suc­cess­ful bounc­ing back of the com­mu­nity is owed in no small part to the ti­tanic ef­fort made by an army of emer­gency ser­vice work­ers.

It was on these work­ers that the sin­cer­est of “thank you’s” was be­stowed by the Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity in a spe­cial mes­sage of grat­i­tude from the heart of the reef.

The show of sup­port was or­gan­ised by IT and ad­min sup­port of­fi­cer for Vi­sion Sur­veys, Na­dine Bal­lance-Cole.

Ms Bal­lance-Cole said she woke up last Mon­day morn­ing and re­alised that “so much had been done” and she had “so much to be grate­ful for”.

“It's im­pos­si­ble to get to ev­ery­one and thank them in­di­vid­u­ally. You do your part on Face­book but I thought how much bet­ter would it be to stand up united and get it on the news and shout out to the vol­un­teers at home read­ing the news­pa­per,” she said.

“This is us con­gre­gat­ing to­gether in a mas­sive thanks to them.”

Ms Bal­lance-Cole said the mes­sage from the heart of the reef was made for the Er­gon En­ergy work­ers, the SES, the ADF, the QFES and all the amazing vol­un­teers that have chipped in.

“It’s so beau­ti­ful to see so many peo­ple stand to­gether,” Ms Bal­lance-Cole said.

Per­haps a cliché, but one founded in truth, Ms Bal­lance-Cole said the peo­ple of Queens­land were an in­cred­i­bly re­silient mob who never failed to find a sil­ver lin­ing and hope even in their dark­est hours.

Ms Bal­lance-Cole men­tioned the para­dox cre­ated in the lives of Whit­sun­day peo­ple by Cy­clone Deb­bie.

There is no deny­ing the de­struc­tive power of Deb­bie, and also, no one can dis­pute the power Deb­bie has to unite a com­mu­nity and bring out the best in us all.

This was cer­tainly the case at the Air­lie Beach fore­shore last Fri­day when peo­ple got to­gether to thank ev­ery­one who has helped to get the Whit­sun­days back on its feet.

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

GRAT­I­TUDE EX­PRESSED: Na­dine Bal­lance-Cole, from Vi­sion Sur­veys, leads a com­mu­nity show of sup­port for the Whit­sun­day re­lief ef­fort.

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