Commemorating 10 years since Remlaw Fire

Published on 30 January 2019

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The community is invited to participate in a 2009 Bushfires 10-year Commemoration at Haven this weekend.

Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria will attend the event on Saturday February 2 which will include the unveiling of two Remembrance Gates.

Horsham Rural City Council has supported the Haven community in the planning of the event to ensure it provides a dignified, respectful and moving opportunity for the community to gather and reflect.

The day will include live music, food vendors, face painting, tennis activities and a jumping castle.

 A faulty power pole, in Remlaw Road, Horsham, sparked a bushfire on February 7, 2009 – the day now known across Victoria as Black Saturday.

The blaze damaged and destroyed multiple homes as well as the Horsham Golf Club’s clubhouse and thousands of trees at the course.

It started when a high voltage power line came down in the high winds in the middle of a stubble paddock beside Remlaw Road.

Fanned by the strong winds, and a record 45.7-degree temperature, the fire crossed the Wimmera River at the edge of Horsham and raced into Haven.  A strong south-west wind change in the afternoon pushed the fire to the east towards Riverside and Drung. All up, eight homes were destroyed and many more were damaged.  Livestock also died in the fire.

Many homes were saved through courageous battles and the efforts of fire-fighters and residents.

Thankfully, no lives were lost.

Mayor Mark Radford said the event would highlight both the impact from the fire event 10 years ago and the progress the community has made since the fire including a range of projects at Haven Recreation Reserve.   

“Everyone has a story to tell about this day in our history.  Those people in Emergency Management leadership positions, people on the ground and the surrounding support Services did an amazing job,” Cr Radford said.

“The 10th anniversary community event will provide an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the fires on our local community, as well as the changes and long term recovery that has occurred since that time.

“It will be a respectful afternoon of music, memories and afternoon tea and everyone is invited to attend.

“For some people in our community, they would rather not be reminded of this day and it is important that everyone remains respectful and mindful of that,” he said.

The event has received funding from the Victorian Government’s 2009 Victorian Bushfires Commemoration Grants program.

EVENT SCHEDULE

  • 3pm - Gather at the community gazebo, Haven Recreation Reserve
  • 3.15pm - Official opening of the Remembrance Gates
  • 3.30pm - Placement of Remembrance Locks (available on the day for gold coin donation)
  • 3.40pm - Refreshments with the Governor and Mr Howard in the Haven Memorial Hall
  • 5pm - Jeremy Quast’s Tennis Hotshots workshop
  • 5pm to 9pm Food vendors, coffee and cold drinks available for purchase
  • 7pm to 10pm – Free community concert