Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 7, 2010
On 7 February 2009, the Black Saturday Bushfires ripped through Victoria. It was Australia’s worst natural disaster.
Twelve months on, Saigon President Derrin Limbrick reflects and asks us to remember.
Just a quick e-mail to remind everyone to take some time to remember today’s anniversary of the tragic Black Saturday Bushfires – Australia’s worst ever natural disaster. In March of last year, thanks to the collaboration of the Bali Geckos and the Vietnam Swans, we were able to host a fundraiser and tribute match in Saigon (see From Vietnam, Asian Footy supports bushfire victims). The idea was quite simply to show our support and, hopefully, raise some funds to assist the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football Netball League (YVMDFNL) get back on their feet. Thanks to the generous support of the public and sponsors we were able to raise some money and, in our own small way, show them our support from afar.
A year has passed. However the rebuilding for some of those in the worst affected areas is only just beginning. Especially in the worst affected areas of Marysville and Kinglake. Yesterday, Marysville and Kinglake played a cricket match to mark the anniversary of Black Saturday. The competitiveness of both teams was evident by the way the captains addressed their teams before the match. Both captains made it quite clear that coming off the field without a win was not an option. Unfortunately, someone has to win and lose and this time around the Marysville team came away with the win. After the game the boys all got together and enjoyed a cold beer together.
Since our match and fundraiser with Bali last year, Fabbo has kept in touch with Stephen Walter, the CEO of the YVMDFNL. Towards the end of last year, Greg Armstrong (a semi retired Swannie now in Melbourne) went to watch Marysville play a match and in his words, “was humbled and amazed” at how he was treated and the hospitality he received (see Greg Armstrong meets YVMDFNL). The YVMDFNL also recently forwarded a Certificate of Appreciation to the Vietnam Swans (see attached) and, there is also hope that Stephen can come here over sometime this year to see what Asian Footy is all about. Let’s hope he can get here.
This is a good reminder of the effect that a “bunch of footy players” in Vietnam can have and, in our own small way, show our support to others in need. Let’s remember those who lost their lives and those who suffered so much this time last year. Let’s also remember that small, simple acts can be significant.
In light of that, I encourage each of you to wear a yellow ribbon today. The Yellow Ribbon Campaign was launched last year by the Victorian Government and the Herald Sun newspaper to acknowledge the human cost of the fires. This is what the Swannies are all about.
We wish the YVMDFNL all the best for the upcoming Year of the Tiger.
Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Lunar Year)!
Cheers, Derrin Limbrick, Saigon President
Today, the Miller Cricket Sixes was played in Saigon and many in the crowd were wearing yellow ribbons including a number of Swannies.