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12 April 2014 Posted by 


Salvos Red Shield Appeal

By Esther Pinn

AFTER seeing the devastation of their home in ashes, the More family of Winmalee found hope and comfort in the form of two Salvation Army officers.

As Peter More walked down his street his heart flickered with hope. He noticed that along Emma Parade in Winmalee, only the houses on the right were burnt down. His house was on the left.

As he reached the top of the crest of his driveway, where he could normally see his rooftop, there was nothing there.

“All that was there was the brickwork of the foundations of the house,” he recalls.

“I felt curiously detached. I didn’t feel tearful, although I did ring Avril and Ashley (his children) and I struggled to say 'I’ve lost the house'. To actually say those words, I found very hard.”

The final moment of destruction came in those five minutes Peter stood there. He watched a tree fall into the pool of his house he had spent 19 years building.

“I practically worked on that house every weekend for 19-odd years,” he says. “I virtually knew where every nail was in that place. And it was a labour of love.”

On Thursday October 17, Peter’s family was one of many who lost their home from the bushfires that raged the Blue Mountains region.

He was also one of the first families that came across Salvation Army officers and Senior Chaplains for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Majors Ian and Kerry Spall.

That Thursday, the Spalls drove towards the Winmalee Rural Fire Service station to support the firefighters.

Here they first met Peter’s 15-year-old son Ashley, who has been a volunteer Rural Fire Service member for almost two years.

As soon as the fires broke out, Ashley left his school grounds at Winmalee High and headed off to the Winmalee Rural Fire Service station, ready to support the fire crews. His job was to man the radio and communication systems which involved getting the fire trucks on the road.

Not knowing whether his own house was safe, Ashley says he just dug into his work.

“When I’m constantly working I’m not thinking except what has to be done so it helped keep my mind off everything.”

Overwhelming generosity

The More family’s restoration story is a result of the Blue Mountains community as a whole. Along with assistance from the Spalls, the More family were taken aback by the generous donations they received.

While staying at their friend’s house in Springwood, someone dropped off a carload full of clothes.

Possessions that were lost in in the fire were replaced almost immediately. Winmalee High gave their 18-year-old daughter, Bernice a formal dress and Quentin’s school teacher bought him a brand new watch. They were also one of the first families to find a rental property.

Temporarily settled at their rental property in Mount Riverview, located in the lower section of the Blue Mountains region, the More family are making plans for their future.

While they are not sure if they will rebuild or buy a new house, Peter says they are determined to stay in the Blue Mountains region because it’s their home.

To volunteer for the 2014 Red Shield Appeal simply call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or online at www.salvos.org.au 

To donate to the Red Shield Appeal please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), visit www.salvos.org.au or in person at any Westpac Bank branch or by posting a cheque to PO Box 9888 in your capital city.





Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
Mobile: 0407 783 413
Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

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