The end of old Darwin town
I was 13 when Cyclone Tracy struck. I remember there was an air of excitment amongst my friends, we'd never experienced a cyclone before.
On Christmas Eve it was very still, not a breeze, not a bird to be seen. The sky was a strange colour - it was really quite eerie. My two brothers, my sister and I were sent to bed about 9 o'clock on Christmas Eve. I remember the t.v. show "The Untouchables" were on. The wind started picking up and rain came streaming in through the louvres. I couldn't stop shivering.
Bob Roberts from the ABC reported that roofs were being blown off houses in Stuart Park so mum and dad decided we should move to the store-room to shelter. We had to move from there as the bricks started shifting. We then moved to the bathroom but the windows began to shake and dad was worried about flying glass. We had nowhere else to go except the linen closest. We were all standing underneath the hot water system which was moving. Dad was terrified that the water system would collapse on us but there was nowhere else to go.
When the eye came over and it became still, my youngest brother ran out to the loungeroom to grab the christmas presents.
When the eye went over and the wind changed direction that's when the loungeroom walls exploded apart. It's hard to describe the sound of the cyclone, it was like a roar. The night seemed to go on forever and we were wondering if this was happening to everybody else.
After the cyclone was over, I remember standing where our lounge-room used to be and looking at the devastation. It's a sight I will never forget. We were so much luckier than a lot of people. The lady across the road was crushed to death by a falling tree as her and her husband were running to their car.
My son often asks me what it was like and I tell him it's something I would hate to experience again.