Peregian is all fired up to help village heroes
As Peregian and Noosa today marks a year since the near disastrous fire storms which played havoc to local lives and forced mass evacuations, the community has rallied to raise more than $32,000 for its firefighting heroes.
Hundreds of Peregian locals and supporters gathered for two events to mark the one-year anniversary of the Peregian fires which started on the afternoon of Monday September 9.
The Family Fun Day was a joint event between Peregian Family and Friends resident’s association, Peregian Surf Life Saving and the Verrierdale Rural Fire Brigade.
Brigade members attended with a special exemption by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service for the a statewide ban on these community engagements due to the COVID situation in Brisbane.
The event also provided an opportunity for community members to find out more about volunteering for their local Rural Fire Brigade and Peregian lifesaving.
“The Family Fun Day was the first time an event had been held in the popular Peregian Park since March, when COVID forced the halt of regular fortnightly markets, Peregian Nippers fundraising barbecues and monthly Peregian Originals music festivals,” event organiser Leigh McCready said.
“On Saturday evening, Peregian Family and Friends hosted a second event which took place upstairs in the Peregian Surf Club building.
“This fundraising dinner raised over $32,000 for the Verrierdale Rural Fire Brigade, to house the new truck which was on show in Peregian Park earlier that day. It was fantastic to see so many locals out to support the fireys,” she said.
The day events included a jumping castle, face-painting, a nipper barbecue and fundraising cake stall on a perfect spring day.
Ms McCready said this attracted families who came to have fun but also show gratitude to the firefighters who helped save Peregian as the area came under threat from fires last year.
Peregian Springs, Lake Weyba acreage, Peregian Beach and Marcus Beach were all evacuated, with many families spending the night in evacuation centres from Coolum north to Cooroy. Some drove to Brisbane to seek refuge with family and friends.
Ms McCready said guest speakers celebrity chef Matt Golinski and Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart spoke of their personal learning about resilience from adversity in relation to the former’s tragic loss of his family in a Noosa house fire and the latter’s horrific injuries after being hit by a garbage truck aged 23.
Noosa Fire Station Officer Rob Frey, who was unable to be there on the night, presented a moving account via video of the night of the fires and the last line of defence the firefighters formed to defend houses, businesses and lives.
The guest of honour at the event was Pam Murphy, the only Peregian resident to lose her house on the night of the fires.
Mrs Murphy’s house is only three weeks away from being completely rebuilt.