Monday, September 2, 2013

A great sense of community

Intrepid walker and well-known Huon Valley identity Jan (pictured with walking 'tree' below) started the annual tradition of a Fathers Day walk to the top of Doodys Hill in Geeveston 18 years ago. Groups of people leave from different locations, aiming to meet on top of the hill at midday. Numbers vary each year depending on the weather and how much 'publicity' (all word of mouth) is generated. Yesterday we joined a small group of families and friends leaving from a local orchardist's place in Castle Forbes Bay. We took our dogs, who managed to make it all the way to the top and behave themselves, even when presented with curious new animals like peaocks.

The top of Doodys Hill is home to a TV tower and various communications antennae and provides wonderful views in every direction, of Port Huon with its fish farms, wharves and long-closed pulp mill, north to Mount Wellington and Sleeping Beauty and out to snow-capped peaks in the Hartz Mountains National Park. On the return journey there was a stock whip cracking contest and poetry readings on the top of a hill, followed by a barbecue at our walk leaders home. What a lovely community event.

On our return home, we found out that a friend and neighbour had been badly injured while sawing wood at home and rushed to Hobart for surgery. Everyone near and far jumped in with messages of support, love and offers of help. A horrible end to a lovely day, but it reinforced the great sense we have of being part of a community here. In Sydney we were lucky to have lovely neighbours - Darren and Lisa next door, Peter and Lise across the road, our dear friends Ingrid and Alan up the road and later Rick and Alex two doors up. And yet somehow what we have here is so different.

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