It had been four days since I had been in town, but that is now a long time in this place. Ok, I have to admit I've had a few beers and feeling pretty emotinal and happy about being here, but I 've never been to a place and time more real.
The pub was rocking, Christine Nixon and Andrew Forrest, the mining magnate, are sitting outside sharing a jug of soft drink, more Harleys than Elizabeth St, looks like a ZZ Top convention meets rural community and there is a confident vibe. Something has been started here that is impossible to stop, a united and determined human spirit. The people here understand what a crisis really is, they've stared it down and they took it on.
The temporary village looks great and will get better but I suppose now is the end of the beginning. Next is to make sure we rebuild and take the opportunity to blow out the old problems, make the town better than it ever was and keep the spirit of this remarkable community.
To see the latest photos of the village go to www.flowerdalerelief.com or Flickr