Hawkesbury District Independent June 2017 #85 - Page 4

local life Local tribute: remembering the by Greg Martin She was one of the many craft which, manned by intrepid watermen, saved the The “specialest” of special guests lives of scores of residents during the 1867 attending a dinner in Windsor later flood - the largest to hit the region since this month to commemorate 150 years white settlement. since the horrendous 1867 flood won’t Despite their heroic efforts, 20 people be making a speech or small talk with lost their lives including 12 members of admirers. the extended Eather family who farmed on the lowlands at Cornwallis. The mammoth flood reached a height of 19.26m and turned the region into a giant inland sea. The flooding was spread about 25-32 kilometres across from Riverstone to Pitt Town and across to the Blue Mountains. At its peak the highest points in Windsor, Richmond and Pitt Town became small - very small - islands. The dinner, All aboard! Enjoying the sun and the old rescue boat are (l-r) Ted Books, Margaret and Dennis Mitchell, Peter and Sally Eather which will be held at the and the Mitchell’s grandson, Beau Johnston. Photo: Kathryn Johnston. 4 ISSUE 85 // JUNE 2017 She’ll just be reclining in front of the stage, permitting all attending the opportunity to admire her for her beauty and her history. “She” is the 157-year-old, 18-foot clinker-built rescue boat which served the Hawkesbury community for many decades well into the 20 th Century. Windsor Function Centre on Thursday evening, June 22, is being organised by well-known residents, Denise Hayes and Ted Books, both of whom have a passion for the history of the Hawkesbury. “We decided several years ago that we should somehow commemorate the 1867 flood and the loss of those precious lives, especially the two mothers and ten children from the Eather family,” Denise said. Denise and Ted have done a tremendous job in rounding up the special guests who will be attending the occasion. Among those accepting invitations to the dinner are Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, State Member for Hawkesbury, Dominic Perrottet and State Member for Riverstone, Kevin Conolly. Other honoured guests are members of the Eather family, long-time Penrith City councillor, Jim Aitken, a man who has fought hard to minimise flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean valleys, and everybody’s mate, former Windsor turf farmer, Terry Allen. Terry these days resides on the Sunshine Coast but still spends a great deal of time visiting his old patch. He too will have a wonderful story to tell on the night - how he miraculously survived when swept away in the July 1988 flood. It is a terrific yarn and its telling will be one of the highlights of the evening! Other highlights include a slide presentation by Denise and Divinia www.hdinews.com.au THE hawkesbury INDEPENDENT