Ipswich tribute for volunteers from 2011 floods
WHILE the city has rebuilt, the emotional impact of the 2011 floods remains for many victims and Ipswich City Council paused yesterday to pay tribute to the army of volunteers that helped residents in their time of need.
Leichhardt resident Robert Peschke presented the council with a signed safety helmet which will be displayed as a tribute to the "Mud Army".
The helmet is one of the few items Mr Peschke has from the time. The floods took everything that remained in his house at Moores Pocket.
All that Mr Peschke, his wife and three adult children were left with was the car, two dogs and the few belongings the family took with them as they evacuated.
"I've still got the text message from the day of the flood 'get out now' because we stayed, there was so much information, some of us listened to what neighbours were saying, thinking it wouldn't be that bad. What can I say, your whole life washed away in an instant."
The helmet, signed by league greats Mario Fenech, Robbie Farah and others players from Balmain and Parramatta, was a symbol of the helping spirit that shined through the tragedy.
A volunteer "Michael" who travelled from rural Victoria to help the victims left the Peschke family the signed helmet on their bunks at the evacuation centre before he left. The family is now trying to get in touch with Michael to thank him for his efforts.