16 January, 2020

Wingello - It's What We Do

On the night of the fire and over the ten days since, so many people in Wingello have gone above and beyond in helping their fellow villager. I have pointed out a few on the store's Facebook page, but the trend is clear. We have a great group of people that call Wingello home.
But there is one thing in common. None of them like being thanked, especially in public.
When we approached our neighbours and thanked them, they shrugged and said, "That's just what we do." (More about their efforts here)
The Firies in action (Stylised)
The Firies who did a heroic effort holding the fire at the Railway Line and then saving more houses in the almost continuous mopping up operation, also get embarrassed at the praise and say, "It's just what we do." (A snippet of their massive efforts are here)
The villagers with heavy equipment that instantly went to work helping the Fire Brigade clear up dangerous trees and areas to make it safe for us to return wouldn't accept thanks, saying "We didn't do anything special, it's just what we do."
Someone needs to be there with all these gifts
The various ladies who stepped right into the middle and assisted with distribution of all the donated goods, fought with council to use the hall and stayed around to provide a shared conversation with fellow villagers who have all been impacted by the fire argued, "What did we do? It wasn't much. It's just what we do."
To the ladies who instantly went into action and helped co-ordinate emergency and long term accomodation for those who had lost their homes, they also answered that what they did wasn't worth thanking, "It's just what we do."
To Snax On Trax (I'm mentioning them!) - whose livelihood has been hit hard as so many events to which they provide great coffee and catering have been cancelled - didn't worry about that. They leaped into action and began feeding the host of RFS and other volunteers who were cleaning up the town. They didn't get to see their home much until after they had fed everyone and provided the very important coffee! But when we try and thank them we get the same answer, "Don't be silly, it's what we do."
Back in business!
I was getting pretty upset at all this humble service to the community but I realised that when so many people thanked us for the live posting and information we provided and the help we organised, we also brushed the thanks aside and replied, "It wasn't anything important. It's just what we do."
I can certainly confirm that the traditional notion of the quiet achiever and the can-do attitude that Australia is famous for has not been lost. It looks like it is instilled in us. In times of danger and tragedy, all of our past differences get placed into perspective.
Residents of Wingello, and neighbouring villages of Penrose and Tallong who have had the borderline fires and continual threats of worse, are really brothers in arms, facing and having faced a common enemy, Fire.
And helping each other get through this? It's just what we do.

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