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On Friday 21 February a team from St Simon’s Kaleen-Giralang-Lawson went to a property near Numeralla in the Cooma Parish that had sheds, water tanks, electricity lines, vehicles and other infrastructure destroyed during the recent bushfires.

Peter and Mary Mitchell of Badja Glen on the Badja Road at Badja are parishioners of Cooma Parish and are now in their eighties.

Archdeacon Paul Cohen has known Peter and Mary for 25 years, since his Camden Parish days when he was Bishop Trevor’s curate. Joining Paul and Sue Cohen were Archdeacon (retired) Brian Roberts (of Numeralla), Jim, Paul, Rick and Russell, all retired gentlemen.

The team was able to help:

1. Put in a new 15,000 litre ‘header’ water tank for the house, having unloaded it and rolled it up a hill past blackened trees and the melted old tank.

2. Remove debris from a burned and collapsed very large shed blocking an access road.

3. Dig two trenches (20m x 600mm deep and 30m x 600mm deep) ready for new electricity wires to other buildings.

Sue provided wonderful sustenance for the team throughout the day!

The team will be going back in a few weeks to provide further help.

It might be that your parish would be able to undertake something similar. The long road to recovery could begin with the first small steps.

by Archdeacon Paul Cohen