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In 1974 the most destructive tropical cyclone recorded in Australia’s history devastated Darwin on Christmas Eve turning the city into a war zone This book is a collection of survivor stories When I first began putting this book together I had no idea how gut wrenchingly sad it would be While working on the formatting of this book and reading a few passages here and there I found myself crying as the words on the page opened old wounds and memories I’d thought long healed and long forgotten How wrong I was It was then that I began to realise just how traumatic it must have been too for those retelling their stories from that terrible night so long ago Some penned stories of innocent lives lost others of how beloved family pets had been torn from their arms then shot to prevent the spread of disease All remembered the demonic sound of the wind as invisible hands snatched loved ones away while the walls ceilings and eventually the floorboards vanished from beneath their feet Many tell of the dystopian war like devastation that greeted them as they crawled out from beneath the rubble as the sun rose on that fateful Christmas morning grateful still to be alive How it was that so many survived that brutal unforgiving night will forever remain a mystery to me and to the thousands of other souls who survived the night from hell with Tracy Patti Roberts AuthorPublisher Stories submitted from Patti Roberts Andy Stump Beth Cats Jan Berry Ian Philip Cork Darly Annette Lehmann Sue Gullefer Jan Harris Deb Hendry Ian Heron Kathryn Holden Diane Hunter Jilly Limb Costa Karaolias Gaby Lancaster A Letter from Joy Lesley Davis Marg Roderick Mark Saban Bill McGuinness Sue McGuinness Chris Hopkins Jan Oakhill Kev Ruwoldt Chrissy Schubert Vicki Shean Joyce Sprunt Leesa Plester Wayne Stubbs Samantha Trott Tracey Collins Tim West Eleanor Graves Ramon Williams Photographer Betty Watcham Red Cross

12 thoughts on “Surviving Tracy

  1. says:

    Having heard stories of this night my whole life from relatives who lived through it I didn't think it would be so hard to others accounts But it was heart wrenching and these stories really hit home Patti Roberts had done a great job compiling all these personal accounts into one book

  2. says:

    I approached this book with the perfect advantage in that I had no knowledge of the events the book so beautifully chronicles The stories are told by those who were there involved and are given in that compelling and forthright way that engages the mind in a grip of iron This is without doubt the best means of narrating such a huge and complex series of events a daunting task yet carried out with the precision timing normally associated with a military operation Patti Roberts has taken the earthy and often direct testimonies of those who were there who saw and arranged them so as to mark out the whole sequence of events or less chronologically I will not spoil the book by commenting on specifics except to remark that parts of this book are truly harrowing yet recounted with a profound lack of self indulgence Some of the stories bring a lump to the throat and every single one is moving or riveting in it's own specific way I was by turns charmed horrified appalled and brought to understanding I cannot promise this is everyone's cup of tea but it will not disappoint It is a masterly work told in plain unadorned language and should be read if nothing else as a witness to the indomitable nature of the human spirit and especially those from the top end of Australia Buy it you won't regret it

  3. says:

    Patti's compilation of stories fromCyclone Tracy is a historical work that adeptly chronicles personal viewpoints from what is still considered Australia's worst natural disaster Over 40 years later and the stories are vividly recounted and are remarkably linked by threads of similar experiences and impressions Although I had the privilege of submitting my story reading all the other stories made me feel connected across time to those who also endured this life shattering event Although over 40 years have passed since Tracy wreaked havoc on Darwin the sense of being at the complete mercy of the most destructive shrieking onslaught of wind and feeling that my family and I would not get out of it alive has never strayed from my memory Patti Dunn Roberts has done a wonderful job of compiling these stories and photographs accompany every story making this a great book to pick up at different times or one that can be read through in one or two sittings She has not sanitized any of the stories making this a raw and compelling book Highly recommended reading