Best of humanity
I volunteered at the Bega evacuation centre caring for people's animals, as well as my own, along with a fantastic, hardworking team in the same boat. We were all staying at the evacuation centre and decided to pitch in to look after the increasing number of animals being brought in.
Yet I hear now that some people are saying we only did so for "the glory". This is extremely disappointing and hurtful.
I did it to support Hayden, from Local Land Services, and Gerrie, who was on her own at the start caring for an increasing number of pets. They needed help. Simple as that.
Then a wonderful family from Cobargo joined us. They slept in the shed to keep the animals safe at night. We quickly became swamped and put a call out for more volunteers. People rocked up and got to work with no fuss or fanfare.
We all had animals there, and understood other pet owners had other commitments or were very traumatised, and needed support to care for their pets.
I loved the team work and generosity and humility of everyone who helped out. We were wonderfully supported by Local Land Services and even had vets available as needed.
None of us did it for "glory". It is absolutely disgraceful to run people down for simply doing their bit. I saw the very best of humanity during the height of the fire crisis. Leave it at that.
Name and address supplied
Long-term smoke worry
I think more concern should be shown towards the long term effect of breathing in contaminated air, which is what we're all doing/have been doing for the last month or so. Just because it's not black with smoke like New Year period it doesn't mean it's any less harmful.
There must be enough smoke to harm you if there's enough to mask the normally bright summer sun, surely. So why are most people, including the vulnerable senior citizens and the children not being advised to use masks when they are out and about?
There's no longer any "healthy country ai " around us anymore. We are going to be paying for the laxity in enforcing masks during this period for years to come with breathing problems, lung diseases and even cancer. We really don't know what we're breathing in - lead, mercury, asbestos? Be sensible. Wear a mask. This is not the time to show you are a tough guy.
Some people are more vulnerable to get these diseases but since we don't know who is vulnerable, it makes sense to protect yourself. Nobody will be able to cough for you when your chest hurts 10 years from now. You will have to cough it all out by yourselves.
Dr KR Rajesh, Bega
Both Bega and Bemboka featured in the centenary edition of the Open Road. Bega was the first country branch of the NRMA set up under the guidance of W Balmain. I took out my NRMA membership through the Bega branch in 1951 and have remained a member to this day.
It was interesting to see that in the photo of Nick Hobb's "everything" store petrol was selling at 2 shillings and 2 pence a gallon. In earlier times it was said that if Nick Hobbs didn't have it, it didn't exist.
Maybe it would be an opportune time for your readers to share their stories of yesteryear in the centenary year of the NRMA.
Keith Beresford, Sydney
A short survey; what would you rather have?
1. A fully government-funded and equipped Rural Fire Service in NSW
2. A new stadium in Sydney
You can only pick one.
Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.