Soon after Cyclone Tracy , a large part of the Australian naval fleet , including the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne , top , right , steamed into Darwin to help the recovery. While it was in the harbour I went aboard to see a naval photographer and in an all hands on deck scenario was engaged to help move refrigerators with a trolley inside the cavernous vessel. One of the most spectacular photographs I accumulated was a panoramic view of Darwin looking as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb , taken by a hand held camera from a jet fighter , the photographer in a helicopter .
Memories of the post cyclone period came to mind when one of the several special 40th TV anniversary reports showed former Northern Territory News editor Big Jim Bowditch tucking into a meal at the Darwin High School which dispensed food to large numbers of people . Also seen serving choice tucker there was jovial Ronnie Yip from The Vic Hotel .
In my capacity as the government press officer in Darwin , I compiled the regular Government Newsletter which was run off in large numbers and handed out at all the emergency food and help centres in the city.
My wife , Judith ,worked at the Nightcliff High School , another centre which fed people , workmen; she commuted by bike from our torn apart house . From the school people were bussed to the airport to be flown south, some in a US Starlifter . My wife saw police pull guns on men dressed as women trying to force their way into a bus at Nightcliff. When she developed what was thought to be thrombosis in a leg , she was admitted to hospital where blood thinner was incorrectly injected and both her arms blew up , resulting in her being evacuated to Sydney in a Hercules.
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