Floods cast shadow on Laidley event
AUSTRALIA Day celebrations went on in the Lockyer Valley yesterday but thoughts and prayers for flood victims were at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
A minute’s silence was held at the start of the region’s traditional ceremony for residents to pay their respects to the 22 people who have died in Queensland floods – the majority from the Lockyer Valley.
Well wishes went to those affected most by the flash flood that wreaked havoc in Grantham and Murphys Creek on January 10 where people were forced to flee for their lives when an eight metre wall of water came gushing through the towns.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones said the past few weeks had been a “very trying time” for everyone.
“There is no doubt the past few weeks has been very difficult but I think it’s important to remember that we are Australians and together we can get through this,” Cr Jones said.
Eleven Lockyer Valley migrants came to the Laidley Pioneer Village yesterday morning where they confirmed their loyalty and were sworn in as Australian Citizens.
Army Captain Christopher Hawkins, who is currently working in the region, took time out to watch his wife Daniela Hawkins and their son Santiago, the only one of their children born abroad, become citizens.
“I’m extremely proud to be here with my family to witness Daniela and Santiago being welcomed as Australian citizens,” he said.
Capt Hawkins had no time to linger following the ceremony as he was called away to Grantham to continue with the clean-up in the flood-devastated town.
Ann Bichel was awarded the region’s Citizen of the Year for her tireless involvement within the Forest Hill and Laidley communities.
Young Citizen of the Year went to Tegan Steggal for her commitment to the region and her outstanding achievements.
Other award winners recognised for their outstanding achievements were Senior Sports Award – Clem Smith; Junior Sports Award – Jack Godley; Sports Administrator Award – Gatton Old Boys Rugby League Association; Senior Cultural Award – David Thompson; Junior Cultural Award – Ace Herning-Krause; Achievement Award – Lights on the Hill Memorial and Community Event of the Year went to Lockyer Valley National Tree Day.