For too long I have been keeping a guilty secret …

Comment on Flood report a trickle, not a banker by John Bell.

For too long I have been keeping a guilty secret about the Todd and flood mitigation.
In the Great Banker of ’73, Three Young Reckless Melanka Louts foolishly decided to chance their arm and swim downstream,from Anzac Oval under the causeway footbridge and into the Blue Grey Wild Water Yonder, to The Gap.
That was the theory, anyway. Oh foolish dreams of youth!
Extreme cold, a swirling rip tide and dangerous river bed debris quickly brought them undone, almost tragically.
Two of the three managed to make it to the river bank, just below the Old Riverside.
The third, however, nearly cashed in his chips.
In one last desperate lunge after going under numerous times he rolled unceremoniously on the gravelly bottom, managed to wrap flailing arms around a big tree stump which appeared as if by miracle, in deep midstream.
Three hours of freezing cold, howling wind, rain and hanging for grim death like a wet and gravel-rashed shag on a rock he was rescued by the valiant Emergency Service, to the raucous cheers of the back bar patrons of Riverside who gathered for the entertainment. Next edition of The Centralian Advocate, front page along the lines of “Young Idiots waste valuable time and energy of Emergency Services Heroes”.
The three young idiots spewed up gravel, got examined and survived to live, love and generally commit further mayhem in later life.
And the moral of this fact of history? The Flood Gods of Todd did not exact vengeance on these ratbag vagabonds. For a divine reason.
The sparing of their lives was sent as a friendly warning to us mortals to get our flood mitigation act together.
Fourty-four years later, we appear to have forgotten the message of the Flood Gods.

Recent Comments by John Bell

How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
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Then in 2003 I visited Japan and stumbled across a small maritime museum on the coast 80 km north of Tokyo. I was astounded to see a huge 12th century map outline of the eastern Australian coastline from the tip of Cape Yorke down to approximately the border of present day Victoria.
The young with-it Japanese curator told me that local fishing boats went fishing all the way down the Australian coast for centuries before the emperors banned overseas sailing after the Divine Wind attempted invasion by the Chinese.
Suspended from the three storey ceiling was a replica of one of those original fishing boats. Tiny. My mind boggled.
It would be terrific education for an Australian maritime museum to display such boats from different peoples and countries during these eras.
It would give us a greater appreciation of the comparative maritime brilliance of the different cultures.


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