Thomas Frappell, Grade 6, St Anthony's Primary School
22 December 1974, 4.30pm
I’m sitting on my lounge enjoying watching the news when a severe weather warning comes up, and I thought to myself “how could a storm happen in this weather as its 38 degrees outside”. But as everyone in town starts talking about it, it comes to me that it could be more than just a storm. I’m still not convinced. It’s ten thirty so I went to bed and had a good night rest.
23 December 1974, 7:00 am
There’s been so many warnings now I can’t even keep up with them. Everyone is getting prepared for this storm. It is all that the media is televising right now. It looks like this storm is going to hit us big and possibly bigger than I think. As dark and gloomy clouds come across Darwin and lightning starts to strike, I’m getting very cautious of what is happening and when it’s safe to go out of the house. I’ve heard the word “cyclone” a couple times from some of my mates, but I think that’s a load of nonsense. As big gusts of wind go by and rain starts to drizzle, I am now begining to think that maybe this could be a catastrophic event. I quickly try to contact my mother and father, but they don’t answer. As someone who left home only two years ago but looking forward to going home for Christmas lunch only 20 kms away, I hope the storm passes quickly. I don’t know what to do now but I think I will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
24 December Christmas Eve 1974, 9:30am
I woke up today to the horrified screams of locals and the sirens roaring. I soon realise that this is more than just a storm. It’s Christmas Eve for goodness sake. I had to run down to the hardware store to pick up some supplies based on the meteorologist’s recommendations but the whole town was in lockdown. Shops were closed and shop fronts were totally boarded up. The main town was like a ghost town. I was only 30 metres away from my small nimble home when the wind picked up suddenly! It got so strong that I was getting pulled away and I could even see small bits of my roof and debris falling off my house.
It is going to be an anxious wait. I have no power; no telephone connection and I should have listened to the media warnings earlier to prepare for this natural disaster. I am praying that all the children and parents stay together and that everyone in the community finds a safe place to stay. The cyclone is getting so bad now that I’m praying to god that I survive through the night and I hope my family is safe wherever they are. I guess time will tell whether I survive through this horrible monstrosity of a thing that people call a cyclone.