Lynne Walters (née Prowse); Muswellbrook, NSW
I was a fresh faced 24 year old when I arrived on the old focker, into Birdsville. What I saw below me from the window of the plane, was just simply out of this world and a sight that is deeply entrenched in my memory.
The year was 1985 and it was Anzac Day, but arriving at the airstrip, the public holiday and ceremonies that had been held earlier in the day, but not much stopped for the once a week, mail service, and delivery of groceries and supplies.
I have so many wonderful memories of my almost two years in this wonderful town, but probably most of all, is when many years later, I met the man of my dreams, and we married in 1999, and spent our honeymoon in or on our way to Birdsville. Going back after all those years, it was so wonderful to catch up with so many of the wonderful people that make up this town. The community spirit is rich and diverse, and the fact that you worked for Frontier Services always held you in some sort of high regard.
The night before we left Birdsville, we had dinner at the hotel with Bev and Geoff Morton, and some other friends, only to hear 3 inches of rain fall on the roof of the hotel...needless to say we slid our way back out to Roseberth that night, but with still full intentions of leaving the next morning.
The morning broke with typical big blue skies, and we were reassured that there was definitely no rain in the equation. So of we headed to Durrie, for morning smoke, and after leaving at afternoon smoke, we starters heading for Innaminka.
Just to reassure ourselves we called in at Mt Leonard station, to find the young managers wife, almost suspicious of strangers, and very dubious. After a while, when we appeared we were not going to get too much information, I let it slip that I had worked at the hospital years before-the doors opened, and we were invited in and were treated almost as royalty-such was the reputation and standing of any who had worked for the UCFC.
The young lady assured us that her husband and station hands were out on a mustering camp further south, and she very happily made a call, and told them we would be heading that way, but again reassured us that there was no rain on the horizon.
After leaving and traveling for a couple of hours the sky just got blacker and the clouds heavier. Just past the Hadens corner turnoff it... poured!!!
Black soil and rain, are not such a great mix and we were sliding all over the place. One call on the UHF and we found the mustering camp, and we were invited in....where we stayed for three days, until it was dry enough to travel again.
The hospitality and friendship shown to us over that time, is just a true sign of the genuine nature of these wonderful people of the outback.