Blackstone resident Gavin Berry with his recent tattoo to mark the 2011 Ipswich floods.
Blackstone resident Gavin Berry with his recent tattoo to mark the 2011 Ipswich floods. Sarah Harvey

Flood survivor tattoos take on

THE memory of living through the 2011 Ipswich floods is never going to fade for Gavin Berry – a tattoo on his arm will ensure that.

The 41-year-old said he had been so touched by watching close friends come through the disaster he had decided to have the commemorative slogan ‘Survivor 2011 Ipswich Floods Life Goes On’ tattooed to honour them.

He said the tattoo was intended as a tribute to his Moores Pocket friends who had lost everything they possessed in the floods.

“All their possessions were thrown on the kerb,” Mr Berry said.

“All their life memories gone.”

Mr Berry said he had also wanted to show had proud he was of the Ipswich community who had rallied to support virtual strangers get back on their feet in the flood aftermath.

“Regardless of how they were affected personally, everyone in Ipswich was affected by the floods,” he said.

“The community spirit lifted to a degree which was unbelievable.

“It is hard to put into words how much the community endured.

“The way the community bounced back has been astounding.”

Richard Johnson, of Heritage Custom Tattooing, said the studio was happy to help Mr Berry bring his tattoo to life.

“He feels as a survivor it is something that affected him and touched him in some way,” he said.

“We will probably get more of that as time goes on, with people remembering their traumatic experience or the memory of a loved one.”

Bellbird Park Tattoos apprentice Mitchell Rippin said while they hadn’t done any themselves, they had heard of people having tattoos done to remember their flood experience.

The tattooist said the most common thing had been people getting an anchor, with one Rosewood resident even having “Floods 2011” inked.

“A lot of tattoo parlours are doing the anchor tattoo to help raise funds for flood relief,” Mr Rippin said.

“People want something to remember the experience they have been through.”

Mr Rippin said having a tattoo done to remember a traumatic experience was one of the most common reasons why people had tattoos done.

“It might be to honour a lost loved one or even after their house has burnt down,” he said.

“Tribute tattoos are very common tattoos these days.”



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