"A community that makes my spirit fly" were the words sung by Tathra musician Peter Howe as the community gathered to mark 12 months since a devastating bushfire swept through Reedy Swamp, Vimy Ridge and Tathra.
Remembering an event such as a bushfire one could imagine a solemn occasion. However, the events held across Tathra on Sunday, March 17, were far from it.
At the small foreshore barbecue area there was an ambience of love, laughter and togetherness. Kids bounced on the jumping castle and went for rides on the merry-go-round as adults looked back over the year with a humble sense of pride and resilience.
Local Jennifer O'Leary said she was the first to jump on the jumping castle.
"And why not?" Ms O'Leary said with a laugh.
Margaret MacFadden recently moved into a new duplex home nine months after her home of 20 years was lost to the fires.
"For me today there is a sense of bitter sweet. I have lost my home and I am now settled into my new home," Ms MacFadden said.
"The community support has been absolutely wonderful, I feel very lucky to live surrounded by such caring people, I have received loads of help."
Craig Hamilton, who stayed and fought for the homes along his street during that terrible day last March, said it was a blessing that nobody lost their lives.
"That way I think we were able to take it on the chin - it was a terrifying day but we are all still here and that is what counts," he said.
Earlier on Sunday a mixture of 1500 native trees were planted along the Tathra Headland reserve.
Michael Fiedler from Green Shoots Bushfire Recovery program said around 115 people spent the morning planting a variety of natives in hope of restoring the natural vegetation.
He said the group of people were busy all morning "just getting on with it" among friendly chatter.
Mr Fiedler said a Tathra resident affected by the fires told him she felt grateful to be able to put trees back into the ground.
"The vibe was good and people just seemed happy to be planting and getting their hands dirty.
"It was the perfect day for it really," Mr Fiedler said.
Other activities organised to remember the bushfires included a bushwalk from Thompsons to Taylor Square in Tathra and a mountain bike ride.
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