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My Mother Louise the unforgotten Hero

by George Burri Butler
(Salonika / Darwin NT)

My Mother Louise the unforgotten Hero with Many Others

Where do I start? I know for a fact there were many hero's who can't be mentioned as it is very hard for them to come forward but do they want to be known as I feel these people are the unforgotten hero's. And deep inside their hearts they themselves know that they did what they had to do with no hesitation for their families and loved ones including friends and those people who didn't know each other and those who did had cost them their lives.

It has taken me many years to say what I am about to share with you mob and to be honest I am still grieving in my own way and managing it without any help from professional people who are available but I decided that I don't need them as when I needed them from the beginning I was turned away and had to deal with it on my own. I am in two minds and with hesitation in what I am about to share with you but will try. There will be a tear or two but it's expected as I will share those tears with you as you read this.

I will now share with you some of my experiences that took place after Tracey decide it was time to depart leaving behind a destruction of a atomic bomb that had hit Darwin and its suburbs leaving behind many dance floors,houses without roofs, water lying every where, cars found upside down, roads cut with power lines and steel power poles twisted and bent across the roads and footpaths, hearing screaming and crying for help, no power,emergency sires being heard, people wondering around their streets and out of their houses seeing who can they help, houses with no roofs, dance floors in every streets.

Well after Tracey had left when I walked out of my 3 bedroom house minis a roof in Levi Place Millner with my blue heeler dog and my brother-in-law Ray. It was unbelievable we just couldn't believe what we were seeing as we had sheltered in the bathroom toilet with a mattress on the floor and over ourselves to protect us from anything that may fall down on us. Our cars were okay. He had a white 'sin bin' Holden panel wagon and I had a 71 Belmont Holden Sedan as we parked them up against the walls of the house to add that extra protection. I had a full tank off petrol as I had filled it up when I had knocked off work that afternoon.

Anyway I wanted go and see how my mother was as she lived in Moil with my sister. We decide to cruz in my car, dogged a lot of power cables which weren't alive and house goods couldn't get past the horse stables as power poles were across the road and Rapid Creek was flowing a bit. We turned around went back, found ourselves making our own road and dodging fallen trees and poles towards Trower Rd Bridge. We got across and there was a bit of a clear way up Trower Rd but heaps of twisted steel power poles and cable lines everywhere. We managed, not much traffic but when we came to Rothdale Rd we couldn't drive down there. I could see heaps of houses looking like 'dance floors' the only thing that was missing were the dances and the band. So Ray and myself decided to make our way to Sabine Rd to get through where my mother was staying in Moil.

As we were driving down this road we were stop by a man who was hysterical crying and yelling begging us to help him with a woman who was lying on the foot path covered in blood. I think it was the 4th upstairs house on the left she came from which was left like a 'dance floor'. She had a badly cut, I think right leg, which her thigh muscle was dangling as she was in pain and was losing blood every where but we managed to tie a tourniquet and put pressure on the cut to try and help with the bleeding. We managed to get her in the back seat and take her to the 'Old Darwin Hospital'. This ride was an experience of driving skills to get there. That's another story to tell but we managed to get her there and the nurses and doctors were fantastic as there were many people on trolleys waiting to be seen. Afterwards Ray and myself had fun cleaning the stale blood from my back sat and had to throw the towel and blanket away that had to be used to lay her on and to stop the bleeding and you could imagine the stench we coped with it. Yeah we did some dry reaching but when you looked at it we helped save a life and a leg.

There was nothing i could do i just couldn't say no to help those people but i kept wondering about my mother and if she was safe. i took Ray back home as he had things to do and eventually I got there where mum was staying with my sister but there was no one there. The house with no roof, house belongings scattered every where, no sign of anyone. During the day one of my mates found me and told me people were looking for me i had to go to the Casuarina Post Office to help identify something i didn't know what they meant. When I got there I was greeted by a Police Officer and he asked me who i was and I told him that i had to go there to help in identifying something. When he met me at the front door it was a shock that the post office was being used as a morgue. There were bodies lying every where and it didn't dawn on me regarding my mother.

As i walked in he took my name and ticked it off as he was expecting me and he then told me to look around to see if i could identify that person.There were bodies lying everywhere i could see covered over by 'mail bags' and other sheets. There i recognized her body she still had her wedding band on her finger. They wanted to show me more of her and i said no it's my mother i told them and took a big deep breathe and walked away crying it hurt me to see her lying there so still on the floor. There was no one around to comfort me i just had to be strong and found it very hard to accept what had happened. There were lots of time where i blamed myself for not being there for her and many off times i have shed tears and always picture my beautiful mother who did not deserve to have Tracey take her from me and my family.

But anyway after I tracked my Dad who survived and other family members down who were safe. It took awhile about them telling the story of my mother in what she did. I finally found out what my mother did she was a hero who saved her grandson, my nephew, Roger Jr by protecting him and putting him in a plastic garbage bin when Tracey came around the second time when the going got tough. He was found inside one of the rooms when they were taking shelter and mum was protecting him with his mother. That's when the roof was being blown away that something heavy had hit her and what ended my mothers life it was hard as the house was being teared apart with heavy strong winds and what rain. She kept a cool head and knew what she was doing by putting her life on the line for another and that was her Grandson Roger Jr she loved. She always had put her kids first and she was always strong and never hesitate to comfort those she loved.

" My Mother Louise who will always be our family HERO and will not be forgotten"

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Great story
by: Anonymous

I remember Tracy like yesterday and the people that where lost that night. I felt sad reading this story but admire the courage of this family. All Darwin people who went through Tracy are united in the grief this cyclone caused and the changes to families and our city.

Great story written in dedication to this families member who was a hero on the night. There are many stories not told of heroic efforts by people who did what they had to ensuring others survived including taking people to hospital.

I never lost family but am still traumatised by the experience and like many have never sought counselling or help and seldom speak about Tracy. Best of luck to this family and their mob. I loved your story.

Old Parap Railway
by: Barry

How he managed to keep it inside of him I don't know, great story. I too shed a tear and felt sorry or him identifying his mother then finding out what she did. Who doesn't know this great Darwin family and champion sporting one like many other Darwin families.

A legend this Burri best full back for buffaloes
by: Tommy

I think he meant Parer Drive Wagaman turn right at the traffic lights on Trower Ride as i knew his family lived around the corner from me.

Well known Darwin Family
by: Ludmilla

I grew up with this family and they are well known and like old Darwin families very caring and helpful to others and typical welcome you into their lives

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