Listen to stories from Wonboyn bushfires on library website

Library officer Cat McLean interviews Wonboyn visitor Naomi Furrer for the bushfire oral history project. Picture: Supplied
Library officer Cat McLean interviews Wonboyn visitor Naomi Furrer for the bushfire oral history project. Picture: Supplied

An oral history project documenting the events of the summer bushfires on the community of Wonboyn is now available on the Bega Valley Shire Library Service website.

The seven accounts of Wonboyn locals and visitors chart the events and aftermath of the out-of-control Border Fire that hit the small coastal village in early January.

Library officer Cat McLean recorded the accounts soon after the fires, working with Wonboyn author Susie Sarah who is writing a compilation of bushfire recollections from local residents.

"Within the seven recordings are people's reactions to the growing threat of an unstoppable bushfire heading towards their community," Ms McLean said.

"We hear of evacuating to Eden and remaining a community; and a couple's account of sheltering in the local fire shed, only to hear the heartbreaking news over RFS radio that their home has been destroyed.

"People talk about the fireballs, tornadoes and fire fronts coming from three directions, and coming to terms with a feeling of displacement after the fire had passed.

"But what I picked up most from listening to these accounts was the feeling of strength and generosity, and the fellowships found in small communities. They are inspiring and brave people."

Library coordinator Megan Jordan-Jones said the recordings provided research for Ms Sarah's book Fire Across the Water, which collects the accounts of about 20 Wonboyn residents and visitors.

This story Listen to stories from Wonboyn bushfires on library website first appeared on Magnet.

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