|My grandfather (in the boat)|
on the Thomson River
Note the steepness of the banks
and how thick the scrub is.
Click to enlarge images.
|"Thomson River 1927"|
My grandparents also enjoyed going to the Thomson River. I believe it could be my grandmother swimming.
|My Grandfather (back) on the Thomson River|
When Dad was in grade 6 at primary school, his father would often drive him and a mate to Coopers Creek on a Friday after school, for a weekend of camping and fishing. He would only have been about 11 years old!
Dad told me that they would often go in to the Tunnel. This made me want to find out more about the Tunnel.
You can see the tunnel and hear the sounds of nature on The YouTube clip, which also provides a summary about the tunnel. There is also an interesting story about the opening of the tunnel and a near fatality that you can read here, but I have been unable to confirm it.
The Maffra Spectator (Vic.: 1882-1920)
Monday 19 February 1912, page 3
retrieved 27th June 2014
Dad and his mate would take a home made sleeping bag, a fishing rod and some tins of food and spend the weekend fishing and camping. According to Dad, there were no paths to the Tunnel in those days and they would slide down the hills to get in to the river there and crawl on hands and knees to get back up to the Walhalla Road for Granddad to pick them up on Sunday afternoon.
It was during one of these trips to the Tunnel, when my father was 14 or 15 years old, that dad was bitten by a venomous tiger snake. He saw the snake in the rocks and tried to move out the way but felt the snake strike him on the leg. He remembers feeling sick and dizzy. His friend Donny (pictured below) used a blunt pocket knife to cut his leg open (dad cannot remember if Donny sucked out the venom as was an old custom) but he remembers bleeding profusely.
Donny helped him to climb up to the Walhalla Road, which did not get much traffic. Fortunately, luck was on their side, as a car came along and took him to the Erica hospital.
Donny was a hero afterwards but Dr Coto said the snake must only have just got Dad, while his friend did more damage to his leg than the snake! Dad still still has the scar to remind him.
|Donny and Dad|
Moe - early 1950s
Until more recent times, Dad had not visited the Tunnel since his encounter with the snake, over 50 years earlier. In August 2011, my Dad (age 69) with his brother (age 79) and nephew walked into the Tunnel to go fishing. There is a track now but it is still steep all the way and they needed to have a couple of breaks on the climb back up. Dad was very pleased to catch some fish for old times sake as he knows that it was his last visit to the Tunnel.
|This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.Please click for more posts.|