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(Lake Macquarrie NSWAustralia)
I was 13 years old when Cyclone Tracey hit Darwin I will never forget the impact it had on myself and the rest of the family we all have different memories of the Cyclone It is amazing how different memories we all have as we sat waiting to hear if our family had survived the Cyclone. My father's sister, her husband and their children, my Aunty, Uncle and cousins lived in Darwin and we were all very close, they had only moved up there 12 to 18 months earlier. I remember xmas day 1974 my father glued to the phone trying to find out if our family had survived, I have memories of going over to my Aunty's and all the other Aunts and Uncles sitting around the dining room table listening to the radio about the devastation and waiting for news on our family It was a horrific time for our family not being able to do anything or help, all we could do is sit and wait for news.
My cousin was 13 years old at the time of Cyclone Tracey she had moved up to Darwin with her parents and 3 siblings their ages were 15 and 17 and her baby brother just 4 years old. She has told me of her memories of the cyclone. They were all up stairs when the cyclone hit she said it was the most terrifying moments of her life. She remembers the winds and noises, the screaming of all the children, she remembers her father telling them that they had to move and go down stairs to the laundry taking their dogs with them. They all sat in the dark huddled together her memories of feeling they were all going to die together in the dark. To this day she still has nightmares about that horrible day. but they all survived.
Once it was all over they went outside to see nothing was left. It was all flattened, her sister who was injured from debris sustained a deep wound on her foot.
We finally got word that my relatives survived. I don't remember how long it took but I remember being told they were coming home to Sydney but had nothing but what they were standing up in. I remember all our neighbours collecting clothing, prams etc to help out the victims of Cyclone Tracey.
My parents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins had made arrangements to go to a family holiday house in the central coast for our Darwin relatives as they thought once they got to Sydney it would be the best for all of us to be together at our holiday home as we always went there every year as a family to relax and enjoy each others company and what better time then this as they would need to be with us and relax. We were having a lovely holiday all together again as children we didn't really speak of the cyclone we just played and went to the beach each day and had loads of fun together it was great having everyone together again. 2 weeks had past and a bush fire started, all the adults started packing up our gear and evacuated us from the home all I remember is my baby 4 year old cousin screaming Tracey's coming back he was hysterical and it took ages for him to settle down.
this is my memory of Cyclone Tracey but my Parents, siblings cousins, Aunts and Uncles all have their own memories and strange as it may be although we were all together at the time we all remember different things and of course my family who were in the midst of Tracey have a very different account of the Cyclone