Reflection by David Garside

As a member of the Gold Coast Bushwalkers club, it has been devastating to see the bushfires take hold in our beautiful National Parks – even more so when you consider that this is classed as a World Heritage area. The walking tracks cover some 160kms and, over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have walked all of them. Although they are all fabulous, the walk that stands out in my mind is the Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s in the green mountains. This track is a return walk of 42kms. It takes you through the depths of the rain forest, under an amazing green canopy that has to be seen to be believed. The trees include Antarctic Beech, Hoop Pine, Brush Box and the Stinging Tree (which you always try to avoid because they do sting). Some of these trees are over a thousand years old and can only be found in this National Park. Then there are the sounds! All you can hear are the birds, the wind or running water. To hear the songs of the Lyrebird, Regent Bowerbird and Catbird (which really does sound like a cat) gives you the feeling that the Holy Spirit is all around. There are also many snakes and animals, including the Koalas and Bush Turkeys.

To see Binna Burra Lodge and so many family homes destroyed is heartbreaking. Both Lesley & I were born in a generation where our parents had been brought up with the ‘Stiff upper lip’ and ‘Get on with it’ attitude. It has been amazing to see how, yet again, the communities have come together to help one another out and, together with the general public, have supplied food and water for our emergency services and volunteers as they keep battling on to fight this ever-moving monster.

Lesley told me this morning that Thursday 12th September is R U OK? day.

It is courageous to have the ‘Get on with it’ attitude, but it is OK to say, “I am really struggling, can you help?” As a church we are a very caring family but, sometimes, we need to look behind the mask of the always smiling face and ask, “Are you really OK?” If you are concerned about a person or a change in their behaviour, please share your concerns with any one of the parish councillors or our pastoral care team, headed up by Anne in the office.

I feel privileged to be a member of this church family, and also a Parish Councillor. One of the things I have tried to teach our own children is to be positive in life. I am therefore extremely happy that this is what is happening within our Council. The future really is positive.

The Parish Council meeting was held on Wednesday 4th September. Conversations were held around Hire Charges for the various rooms which will be available after the construction work is completed. We discussed the building work that has been completed and things that are still under construction.

Stewart informed us that Father Robert Wisken will soon be retiring from Ministry in the Aged Care facilities. In due course, Parish Council will be thanking Robert for his many years of selfless service. He has carried out this important ministry in a faithful, loving way and he will be greatly missed.

As always, if there is anything that you think needs to be put to the Parish Council, please feel free to speak to one of your Councillors.

David Garside


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