Letters to the editor

VALIANT: Owners of Beechworth IGA Jim and Patricia McCormack give their gratitude to the fire and rescue personnel at the scene of the fire on Saturday night. A momento and tributeTOGETHER with the Beechworth community, we were shocked by the devastating fire that gutted the Ritchies IGA supermarket building on Saturday night.

However, it is a consolation to us that no lives were lost in the blaze and none of the surrounding buildings were damaged.

For this, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the fire and rescue personnel who workedto bring the fire under control in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Those involved in the fire response came from local stations and also regional centres near such as Albury, Wodonga, Bendigo and Shepparton.

Their skill and professionalism was first-class. We would like to specially thank Paul King and the Country Fire Authority, Sergeant Geoff Still and the officers of Victoria Police, Mayor James Trenery, Councillor Bernard Gaffney,Glen Colwell and the Indigo Shire Council for the role they played in coordinating the response to the disaster.

It was a great pleasure to be involved in the construction of the supermarket 16 years ago and balancing the requirements of a modern store with a respect for the heritage values of the town was a priority.

We knowit is a hub for the township and a source of employment for many local people, who will continue to feel the impact of this event.

Ritchies has become well known for its Community Benefits program and we understand the importance of continuing this scheme through a temporary supermarket premises in town.

We are resolved and fully committed to rebuilding the supermarket within a time frame to minimise inconvenience and ensurethe quality of goods and services it offers the local community will be restored.

When the building is reopened for business, we would like to see the small fire truck that has been situated outside the front entrance to the shop kept in the same position, as both a memento and a tribute to the valiant efforts of the fire fighters at the building last weekend.

JIM AND PATRICIA MCCORMACK,Owners of Beechworth IGA PremisesBeing Australian is aboutTHE theme for Australia Day this year is “everyone, everywhere”. Whether you’re in a city or regional area it is important to come together to celebrate what is so great about being Australian.

Country towns are excellent places to travel to on this special day, as they really celebrate what it means to be Australian and so many come together in celebration.

I am reminded of a comment made by our patron and previous Governor General Sir William Deane saying many years ago – “we as a nation will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable” and we have many vulnerable who are forgotten and isolated.

This year we have already witnessed the damaging effect of bushfires ravaging across Australia, destroying more than a hundred homes and claiming the lives of several people.

We have seen people in Australia putting the wellbeing of other Australians before their own, we have seen victims helping other victims, and we have seen people with very little giving to assist others who have lost loved ones and their homes.

We have also witnessed our courageous fire-fighters who year after year put themselves at risk and our police officers who are the line between the good and criminal elements.

And then there are groups such as Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Country Women’s League, Catholic Women’s’ League and so many others groups and individuals who make great contributions to the community.

This Australia Day, I encourage you to spare a moment for the people that have given their lives and donated their time to fighting the recent bushfires and to think about what being Australian is about.

FATHER CHRIS RILEY,Youth Off the StreetsThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

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