Ash Wednesday memories captured

Macedon aerial view after the fire showing the Macedon hotel in which hundreds of people took shelter.

Macedon Ranges stories from the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires have been captured in a book.

Memories of Ash Wednesday documents personal accounts from Bullengarook, Gisborne, Macedon and Mount Macedon residents who lived through the February 16 disaster.

Gisborne resident Bryan Power compiled and edited the stories for the project that grew from a commemorative article for the Gisborne Gazette to mark the 40th anniversary of the fires.

“In the October Gazette I had asked people who were prepared to share their stories to contact me,” he said.

“I was hoping to get a few quotes for the feature article but instead I was contacted by 20 people, all of whom wanted their stories recorded.”

Bryan Power.

From there, the idea for a book emerged and Bryan was inundated with community interest.

Bryan helped to capture 64 stories of individual and family survivors. Of those, 14 wrote their own stories and Bryan interviewed and recorded the remaining 50.

The book also contains many pictures of the fire and the destruction immediately after, around Macedon and Mount Macedon.
Athol Guy will launch Memories of Ash Wednesday at Jubilee Hall on Sunday April 30 at 2pm.

The Victorian Emergency Services Commissioner, Andrew Crisp will also be attending.

The book can be purchased for $40 and will be available at the launch. It will also be available at the Trading Post and the newsagents in Gisborne and Macedon.

Any profits from the book after printing costs will be directed back to the community.

The memorial cross at Mount Macedon. Photos: Memories of Ash Wednesday.