You may have heard, I am one of many who have lost their homes in the Australian bushfires. Here is what remains of my beloved shack. I managed to save my instruments in my boot. Most of the memorabilia is gone but the memories will never go. Thank you to everyone who has gone to the Justin Brady (Mallacoota) bushfire appeal GoFundMe page and contributed, you have all lifted my spirits and given me hope.
The JB shack was a very special place for many reasons (not just for me but for all who came to visit stay even if for just a cup of tea) A big part of that was the nature . Having a Koala with a baby on its back on a tree right in front of the veranda, was a regular occurrence as well as Lyre birds or birds in the bird boxes or a 2 metre goanna prancing around like a dinosaur was a real treat especially for the visitors from overseas.
There have been many nights by the fire with big cook ups of up to 15 people at once sometimes having a ball meeting each other for the first time. Thats why I love this place is and has become big part of who I am.
Justin Brady was in Mallacoota at the time the Victorian fire spread east on New Years Eve 2019. Justin had owned his small home in Mallacoota on a beautiful bush block for over 20 years and had recently decided to live there permanently.
When the fire threat became serious, Justin packed his instruments, including a violin, harmonica and mandolin with treasured possessions like 'The Brady Ranch Visitor's Book' which is a record of friends, family and travellers that had experienced the magic of the shack. He drove his car down to the lake in Mallacoota. He sought refuge for hours in, first a canoe, then a boat near a jetty where 50 people sheltered. "It was apocalyptic," he said.
Thankfully, he and others sheltering at the lake survived the firestorm. Justin said is deeply humbled by the extremely hard work done by the firefighters that helped to ensure everyone's safety.
Take care, SW
You can read more about the fires here: Mallacoota awakes to damage wrought by 'apocalyptic' fire, The Age, Anthony Colangelo and Ashleigh McMillan
You can donate to Victorian Bushfire Relief on the CFA website.
There is a Mallacoota Fires Support Fund GoFundMe page set up you would like to support the Mallacoota community directly.
Justin Brady is well known to Australian music industry as an electrifying harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist from Things of Stone and Wood. A prolific session musician and now music teacher, Brady has collaborated with John Farnham, The Black Sorrows, James Reyne and many more over the years. Recent collaborations include Wayne Dury and Delsinki.
Note: While Justin has a lot to contend with in Mallacoota at the moment after the fires, Suzie Wells will sometimes write posts for him.