Marking the fires of ‘39

By Kath Gannaway
NORM Golding was 32 when the 1939 bushfires ravaged much of Victoria.
The Yarra Valley was not immune from the holocaust which left a legacy of death and destruction, but which also brought to the surface the resilience and fighting spirit of city and country Victorians.
Mr Golding, heading towards his 102nd birthday, received the Royal Humane Society of Australia certificate and bronze medal for risking his life to rescue others in the Powelltown area.
Among his recollections are banding together with other local men as the fire swept over the hill towards Powelltown and going to the other side of the hill to back-burn.
It was a brave tactic and one he will no doubt recall when he takes part in the 70th anniversary commemoration of the ’39 fires at Warburton this weekend.
Several events are planned including a film and discussion evening at St Mary’s Church Hall on Saturday, 10 January, starting at 7.30pm.
Mr Golding will be joined by other locals who each have a story to tell. Ted Chisholm, Millie Rickards, Ron Howard, Keith Thomas, Barry Marshall, Frank Cole, Keith Johanson and Des Morrish will offer an impressive pool of first-hand knowledge and experiences.
For more information about the 1939 bushfires anniversary events phone Ellena Biggs on 5966 5384.