fire + safety
Mon, 09 Feb 2009 13:21:39 PST
Its good to know you are OK Bill and the folks in UK from the Queen on down 
are deeply concerned for everybody we are universal shock and disbelief 
here. As a retired Forest Manager I know a little bit about forest fires, 
destruction of life and entire ecosystems and their overwhelming speed with 
a wind behind but never could anyone have a ghost of an inkling of what 
your situation must have been and still seems to be in several areas. If 
there is a God he needs to let it rain as it hasn't with you for many 
decades and soon. We wish we could send you our 60 cms of snow and - 19 C 
of last night, its all butt about face.

At lunch time today we listed to a lengthy and measured interview on the 
BBC with the Victoria Premier who advised he has requested a Royal 
Commission to investigate this and it has no limit on powers to call for 
witness and information. He also mentions that the wild fire regions are 
now being treated as a gigantic crime scene. If arson is involved as he 
heavily hinted then these people are in a league of utter degradation to do 
such a terrible thing, even to contemplate it is mind boggling. I have a 
significant number of Brodie kinsmen in Victoria for whom we are very 
concerned including my second cousin and I hope to learn soon what there is 
to know and am dreading bad news given the vast nature of the destruction, 
one whole half of the state of Victoria. The State Premier made a hard note 
of comparison for us here in the Old Country which really puts it into 
context for us, i.e. Victoria's population of 5 million is exactly the same 
as that of Scotland, regardless of where they emigrated from, and many came 
from here, their / your losses are unimaginable to any of us used to safety 
and security from major natural or un-natural disasters.

Thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Aus from around the whole world. 
It is a nothing at this time but should you or your fellow liliophiles 
loose your stock I am sure here in UK through the RHS Lily Group we will 
make sure you are supplied with anything and everything that we can do to 
help. Absolutely NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. I will raise this with our Chair 
later today and let you know, keep us posted please. I have no doubt our 
liliophile friends in North America will be totally up for it too, so just 
stay safe meantime and take care the healing effects of growing plants and 
crops is a well understood cathartic activity and from a distance we could 
do nothing less than offer support and what little comfort we can, and we 
will.. In response to the High Commissioner's offices in London being 
inundated with calls of concern and offers of support the State Premier and 
the Aus. Premier have told us we can make cash donations via the Red Cross 
and many people will certainly do so, he mentioned AUS $ 8 million had been 
raised during today already but you are going to need so much more for 
those whole towns and villages burned out and those poor people who died as 
they fled as we are seeing on the news bulletins every hour. Thank God for 
the Commonwealth;........ Aus. was always there for us in terrible times 
past, the folks at home will not be found wanting.

Regards and deepest best wishes,   Iain

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