Due to the recent devastating floods in the township of Eugowra, an IWA Flood Appeal donation of $5000 was received by A50. A task force consisting of DC Sue Brown, Mel Quinn , Tricia Cuming, Sally MacDougal and Christine Parker was formed. It was unanimously decided that the Eugowra Community Children’s Centre (ECCC) suggested by Sally MacDougal be the recipient. The person in charge is Raewyn Molloy.
The recent catastrophic flood occurred on Monday 13th November. At 5.15 am an official contacted Raewyn to warn her to expect 3 feet of water from Mandagery creek. Raewyn sensed something bigger and made a decision to close the Childcare Centre for the day. 37 children plus staff would have had just 7 minutes warning to vacate the building and climb onto the sloping roof to be saved. In fact as well as the original rainfall, more than six feet came up with force in less than an hour’.
The Eugowra Community Children’s Centre had been abandoned due to the damage caused by the power of the water surging to gutter height and causing the council owned building to be unusable and non repairable. There are currently 53 children enrolled and the enrolment in 2023 now stands at 73. The increase is mostly due to the residents living in supplied caravans with repairs and rebuilds of their damaged homes to ‘take some time’. Of the 412 homes in Eugowra, 205 have major damage.
When Sally, Tricia and Sue met Raewyn on 20th Dec the children were using a small building at Eugowra Public School. The Dept of Education have promised to lease to them a demountable, to arrive from Ballina in January 2023 and be erected at Eugowra Showground. Before children can be admitted it must meet Compliance and Regulations. There must be fencing, a playground, cots, table and chairs, appliances, fridge, stove, computer desk etc, lawn mower. The rolling waves of water ‘turned everything upside down’ and destroyed almost all.
The ECCC have a fund-raising account opened and are registered as a non-profit organization. However, this rural community is unlikely to donate any funds while families are repairing and rebuilding their own family homes. Many vehicles were washed away, so owning a vehicle again is also high on their list of wants.
Inner Wheel Australia and members of A50 were supremely satisfied that this was the right choice for using the IWA donation in a worthwhile way. More photographs of the acquisitions and reports will filter through when the Eugowra CCC is operable at the showground. District A50 will monitor the ongoing needs and resources of this Childcare facility and can look forward to following the journey of service to the families of Eugowra.