Spence Australia HQ was closed for a good part of last weekend. It was Spence's daughter's 30th birthday party on Saturday- this isn't why we closed. Halfway through the evening, Uncle Fuzz got a call- the world (or so it seemed) was on fire. As an uber-active CFA member, he immediately left to fight the blaze devouring the wider community. The party was over. Our guests hurried to their homes across the district, uncertain as to what they would find. An hour later, we noticed an orange glow on the horizon, beyond anything we'd ever seen from our balcony.
We spent the wee hours preparing our property and packing the car with irreplaceable things It turns out that, for us, this consists of baby photos and teddies that Spence made for her children over 30 years ago.
The lights died. The water stopped. Phone towers were down. We were without these luxuries for over 24 hours. We are so unbelievably, incredibly, fortunate.
Unlike hundreds of other members of our community, we weren't forced to leave our home. We had a sleepless night, and a house full of fine black ashy dust, but that's it.
The Port Campbell surf club was filled with evacuees and local volunteers trying to make their stay more comfortable. The local police officer pulled an uninterrupted 48 hour shift. The local CFA were out all night fighting fires then spent all morning pulling trees off roads to ensure other people could escape to safety, if need be. Then they went out and fought fires again. The SES responded to endless cries for help, despite the risky environment. These people are volunteers. It's remarkable to live in such a community- and we're endlessly appreciative of the people around us.
It's impossible to imagine how it feels for the owners of the 18 homes, 42 sheds and countless animals that have been obliterated by fire. Our hearts break for you.
Spence Australia is all about gratitude- most of our greeting cards are tailored for specific situations where thanks is required. Today, we're acutely aware of the gap in the market for 'Thanks for saving our community' cards.