Ex­cite­ment builds as cen­tre takes shape

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - 3 YEARS ON - Sam Gibbs

For three years Yar­loop Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre staff have op­er­ated out of tem­po­rary premises while ea­gerly await­ing their new home — ex­pected to be ready in Septem­ber.

Cen­tre man­ager Julie-Ann Ford said ev­ery step to­wards re­build­ing the town made peo­ple feel more pos­i­tive and ex­cited about the fu­ture.

“I think there was a long time that peo­ple felt that noth­ing was hap­pen­ing and Yar­loop wouldn’t come back to its for­mer glory,” Ms Ford said.

“But now peo­ple can see that the new com­mu­nity cen­tre is go­ing ahead. We’ve got plans that will go out to the com­mu­nity, I think that will ex­cite peo­ple.”

A horse breeder when not busy at the CRC, Ms Ford said she evac­u­ated the night be­fore the fires hit to move her stock. When she re­turned three days later the town had been wiped out.

“I as­sumed ev­ery­one in the town would have been evac­u­ated or left and then I was to find out the morn­ing af­ter the fire had hit Yar­loop that there were peo­ple that had still been in here and some were un­ac­counted for,” she said.

“When I came back to town I came past the hospi­tal where we used to have the com­mu­nity cen­tre and it had been lev­elled.

“I found some peo­ple still in the com­mu­nity, we went to the (bowl­ing) club, we set up there and we were cook­ing for maybe a cou­ple of weeks.”

Luck­ily her house re­mained but the fenc­ing around her prop­erty was de­stroyed and she could not bring her horses back into town for six months.

Ms Ford got to work with other CRC staff, op­er­at­ing out of her own house for a short pe­riod, help­ing res­i­dents af­ter po­lice locked down the town for eight months.

The staff moved, first to the Yar­loop Ma­sonic Lodge, then later to the sport­ing pav­il­ion where they still op­er­ate.

Ms Ford said the new mul­ti­pur­pose build­ing would in­clude a com­mer­cial kitchen, CRC of­fices, vis­it­ing doc­tors of­fices, laun­dro­mat, al­fresco area and po­ten­tially an op shop.

“Hope­fully we can have lots of com­mu­nity events and start re­build­ing the com­mu­nity and com­mu­nity spirit,” she said.

Pic­ture: Sam Gibbs

Yar­loop Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre man­ager Julie-Ann Ford is count­ing down to the com­ple­tion of the new town hall which will house the new cen­tre.

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