Drove 11000 kilometres to meet Tracy

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Was 21 and a wanderer, left Cairns mid 1974 after living and working there for several months and headed south through Victoria and South Australia and across to Western Australia before heading north and arriving in Darwin maybe August 1974. Would have stopped somewhere if a job came up but it seems I was destined to meet with disaster a few moths later. Don’t recall how but got a job that came with a tiny flat at Carpentaria College at Nightcliff working on the grounds and buildings of the then Anglican residential facility. Heard the cyclone warnings and thought we are in for a bad storm and the only preparation I remember doing was to tie up some young banana palms with sticks and string.
Have no idea of times through the night but I did go to bed for maybe an hour or two before spending most of the ordeal sitting on a chair in a doorway with two blankets over me, it wasn’t much fun on my own but realised I couldn’t go anywhere. Missed the ‘light show’ under my blankets but the noise was very frightening especially hearing the brick walls falling in the two story building adjoining my little refuge which survived mostly intact. Was very grateful to be in one piece in the morning and camped around my flat with several others before driving out several days later in my battered Holden station wagon.
Andy Stump

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