CANBERRA ACT PIONEERS Data Base Australian Capital Territory Region
Firestorm Jan03
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LOCAL HISTORY Tales Tall and True
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Firestorm Jan03

Fire approaching from the East
The Christmas Angels atop the Church ablaze

Scroll down to see birds eye view and to #Start of Story# On the day of January 18 2003: When the winds started to pick up about 1 pm the radio indicated all the danger was to suburbs twenty kilometres to the North West of dojo so I returned to my home in the south collected my survival gear and returned to Dojo just as the fire ball hit. The winds had strengthened to over seventy kph and had pushed the fire south and into the pine forests areas that had survived the blaze last year. The pine trees fed the forest wild fire and a wall of flame over 50 m high roared out of the timber into the suburbs near dojo.

As I raced up the dojo steps to join the others protecting dojo I was gripped by a calm and intense confidence in Divine providence that had been honed over the past twenty years as a kumite. The hose I choose placed me 10m below the huge Goshinmon, the holy crest of Sukyo Mahikari, on the Dojo wall, which was barely visible through the smoke and glare. As I hosed it down I reflected on how often before in my life I had felt divine protection in my life just by ensuring I wore my Goshinmon badge. The roaring wind scattered burning embers from the mounds and from the blazing forest that could not be seen 50m away through the smoke fire. As I watched the Christmas Angel burn on top of the church next door I thought even it would be spared. But the fire suddenly welled up inside and consumed the church in five minutes. The house across the road exploded like kindling and several cars were threatened as the garden mulch blazed and burned and blew away before the gale, scattering cinders. When the school behind dojo exploded into flames we felt the peak of the fire had passed because it was downwind from dojo. We were surrounded by total devastation and there was nothing more to burn. The peak of the fire had lasted about an hour but it seemed so much longer

Fire to the North - Wildfire in the Pine Forest
Thowling Maelstom howled with a Deafening Roar

The bushfires this year 2003 had started several weeks before in the mountains to the west of Canberra. Lightening from summer storms are generally considered acts of God. Fire is an essential part of our environment in. For millions of years it has been the selection tool in the evolution of our Eucalyptus trees that habitually regenerated after the fires that regularly savage our wilful lavish land. But even though the smoke hung thick over Canberra, very much like the fires of a year earlier that had threatened our city, there was little concern. As I was travelling to the Yoko farm near Lake George on a day two weeks prior to the January 18 wildfire they looked like two volcanos on the distant horizon spewing a pall of black smoke from what is euphemistically called a spot fire. These spot fires were allowed to rage in the mountains for in mild conditions they burnt away the build up of debris and did no damage to our eucalypts. However as conditions worsened on the 18 they became a real threat to life and property.

Fire to the South - School Ablaze
Miracle Building surrounded by Inferno and Devastation

Fire to the West - The Corner House Exploded
20 out of 25 houses to the West were ablaze.

LINK to Canberra Nara Photographs

On the morning of January 18 I was awakened after sleeping overnight at the Sukyo Mahikari dojo by the chuffing of helicopters heading out the seventy or so kilometres to help fight the fires which, at dawn, were dropping occasional charred and blackened leaves from a still and summer heated sky. The fires had spread and combined and travelled apparently away from our city to the North West but the fact that the smoke and black rain of charred leaves was now drifting towards Canberra was decidedly ominous. Our storm winds generally come from the NorthWest and strong winds were expected in the afternoon.
The Garden beds surrounding Dojo created a wall of fire as they burst into flames. The heat was intense as I drove through to the comparative safety of the dojo car park. The roar of the wind and fire as dojo was engulfed in the firestorm was like an ocean wave that drowned the dojo in a sea of red inferno.

The Mystery of the Miracle Building demonstrates Divine Providence in Action. People can experience the Miracle of God's saving Light in their own lives.

The Sukyo Mahikari Centre is open every day and volunteers will introduce you to the experience of the wonderful power of the Light of Creator God radiated from the Hands.

Come and Taste the Miracle.
3 Mulley St Holder
ph 02 6288 7388

Thank You, to an Unknown Photographer:
Click this Pic to Visit Hikaru Museum - Japan

Click this shot to link to Sukyo Mahikari in Gifu Takayama Japan.  If you recognise this photograph please contact me so I can acknowledge it. 
 The person who marked out 'THANK YOU' in the ashes of the oval to the South of th burnt out school was really expressing our Gratitude to The Heavens and Divine Providence.