I never thought that I would be astonished by Roman Catholic foolishness in Australia, but I was today. Why? Well, icon madness came to these shores over the last few days. A lump of timber and a fairly ugly picture became the center of Roman Catholic idolatry in this neck of the woods today. Actually, it was this huge crucifix thing and a picture of Mary and what was probably supposed to be the baby Jesus.
In one scene on the news, this small boat with this massive cross strapped to the front of it was moved across the lake (Lake Macquarie) to a place where a group of Catholic school kids were waiting for it. It was then passed across the group and later taken to a religious service. There was of course some type of parade in which the cross and picture were the center of focus – they were literally treated as objects of worship. It was completely sickening from a Protestant point of view. In reality, it was just incredibly stupid, that a picture and a lump of timber were treated in such a way as these two items were.
So what was the point – it was like the Olympic flame being spread all over the place in anticipation of the Olympic Games later in that particular year, etc. Well, these icons were being paraded in anticipation of the Pope making his way to Australia for World Youth Day, which I think is next year. I’m sure it will be a big thing when it happens – sadly.
Ten people are now confirmed dead following the cyclonic storm that hit Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast on Friday and Saturday.
A family of five were killed when the car they were travelling in was swept away in flood waters when the road they were driving on simply fell into a swollen creek. The old pacific highway near Sommersby gave way beneath the car and a thirty metre section of the road simply vanished into a chasm. The father, mother, two children and a nephew of the parents were all killed in the road collapse. There were reports that the father could be heard yelling out for help for a short period, but there was no possibility of rescue.
An elderly couple were drowned when their 4WD was swept into flood waters near Clarence Town and their bodies found on a farmer’s property a day or so later.
Among the other fatalities, one man was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle and another man drowned after having managed to escapse from his car which was being swept away, he was then washed into a drain and sucked under.
Twenty one men were rescued from the stricken bulk carrier at Nobby’s beach (see picture of the ship in an earlier posting), when helicopters were called in to rescue them from mountainous seas that saw waves breaking over the ship.
Hundreds of other people were saved from drowning in their cars, shops and homes, by the heroic action of people they didn’t even know. The city abounds with stories of people who only survived the disaster with moments to spare, thanks to the actions of strangers.
It is incredible that only ten have been confirmed dead in this disaster, given that thousands of cars were swept away, flooded and submerged within seconds of when the flooding actually started. I know, I was caught up in it at one point.
People were forced to stay wherever they could find a spot to stay. Some slept in shops that had beds for sale, as shop owners allowed people to sleep on them for the night as their shop was cut off by rising flood waters. Others slept at their place of work or in cars on high ground.
It was an experience that Novocastrians will not want to repeat anytime soon.
So here I am stuck at work due to flooding all over the region. Something like 300mm plus of rain in the last 24 hours around the Newcastle – Lake Macquarie area. I have the building I am in sand-bagged at the moment, as water has already entered via several doors earlier in the day. I also have two holes in the roof tarped up because the skylights were blown off earlier in the day as well. We have all manner of containers catching water throughout the building – something like 30 leaks all over the building. There are laundry tubs, cooking pots, buckets and other various containers deployed throughout the building.
There has also been a tree from our property fall over the neighbours fence and destroy their pool. There are branches down everywhere and much localised flooding all over the grounds here were I work.
The surrounding region is a natural disaster area at the moment, with massive amounts of localised flooding and severe wind damage – there is the equivalent of a category 1 cyclone here at the moment.
As the title suggests I’m flooded in and can’t go home so I’m stuck at work for the rest of the night – along with a few other people. Not likely to be able to go home anytime soon I’m afraid.