Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 2 May 2008

Reunion Down-Under
Not all roads led to Port Macquarie

Armidale flood

At long last Anzac Day arrived and the long awaited Blencowe Reunion at Port Macquarie beckoned. Up out of bed at dawn and away, first collection was my sister, Nancy then out to Dangarsleigh for the Anzac ceremony and another passenger, our cousin, Colane. We proceeded down the long, winding road from Armidale, through Uralla then Walcha through the beautiful rainforest along the Oxley Highway. The rain continued to fall all the way, however we were not expecting the greeting at the bottom of the hill!

People waved to us with enormous smiles on their faces and we waived back thinking almost there, almost there. Big mistake! The Hastings River had flooded at Long Flat cutting off the access to Wauchope only half an hour before we arrived. Now we knew why people were waving and smiling! At first the SES volunteers advised we would only have to wait for two hours as they thought the back up of water would clear, so we decided to dine at the local café/store which was doing a roaring trade cooking excellent hamburgers. The afternoon was spent walking up and down the road trying to assess whether the water was receding or rising? Finally an RTA employee announced the road would not re open until the next day.

So that was that! Back up the long and winding road through Walcha, Uralla and finally just before nightfall, Armidale. After delivering our cousin home, we visited our local police station to ascertain if the Dorrigo road was open to Port Macquarie. My sister, not wanting to miss another minute of the reunion, recruited her son, Mark and headed for Port Macquarie full steam under a moon lit sky arriving at midnight. I, not to be outdone contacted a friend, who was also re trying to reach Port Macquarie the next morning and hitched a ride. I arrived in time to have lunch with our cousins then to join in the rest of the Reunion activities. What an adventure!

Deb Stevenson

Good to see a bit of Blencowe grit and determination!

updated: 31 October 2008