TWEED-Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council members Russell Logan, Des Williams and Clarence Phillips.
TWEED-Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council members Russell Logan, Des Williams and Clarence Phillips.

Threat of tidal wave recalled



THE devastating tsunami in southeast Asia has brought back childhood memories for some long-time Tweed residents who recall when the Far North Coast was under threat from a tidal wave.

Jackie McDonald said she remembered a time about 45 years ago when Tweed residents were advised to move to higher ground.

"I remember having to pile into my uncle's car and we went up on Terranora hill," she said.

"I remember that we all had to get up on high ground as there had been an earthquake in the Pacific somewhere and I was terrified.

"We sat up there on Terranora Hill for about half a day until it came over the wireless that it was safe to go home."

Fingal resident and Tweed-Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council member Kevin Slabb said he also recalled the time the tidal wave was predicted to hit the Tweed coast.

"My family lived at Fingal and I remember we were all sent home from school that day about 45 years ago," he said.

"Some people headed for Mount Warning but others just braved it.

"My family stayed home and luckily the tidal wave had petered out before it got here, but there was a larger wave than usual that washed up over the old cemetery."

Tidal waves have been told of in Aboriginal stories that have been passed down through the generations and according to Bundjalung Nation Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Natural Resources and Environment Management Committee chairman Bill Walker, there was one story that told of the reef in the middle of the Clarence River being formed by an eel.



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