Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Several years ago a little boy got lost, after a protracted search the little tacker was found safe and well. What an incredible story, Steven Walls, Guyra NSW, 5000 SEARCHERS, 4 nights. “Where’s my daddy, where’s my daddy”. REMEMBER?
Kids, we love them and they are so resilient when faced with adversity. Steven is 50ish now, he has a little sister. Only Steven won’t know LITTLE BABY CHERRY, but I’ll bet my left one he gave her some advice in how to survive. But only in a way we have forgot, and kids only know.
Steven, your little baby sister went and got lost too, Cherry she was 6 years old, she was older than you.
May I relate the ‘other’, and one of many, true story of little people who go for a walk, in my case, Cherry from Broken Head NSW.
Oh boy what a gut wrench, time; 1630 hours, year; forgot. Situation; missing person. Mission; find missing person. Execution; mobilize search teams from the SES, VRA, RFS, POLICE, POLICE HELICOPTER, ‘SNIFFER DOGS’, ANYBODY and search. Administration; Police Search Control Base, Control; Police, Command; respective agencies, Comms; Bloody radios on 4 different frequencies.
Description of missing person; Little girl, 6 years old, shorts and a top, will answer to the name of Cherry.
Bugger this, dispense with the Combat Agencies speak.
Cherry goes for a little walk this particular afternoon with her pet dog, well, her mum thought she was just outside the back door of their home. Her mum said there was nothing unusual in the situation. Cherry and the faithful mutt played within the confines of the back yard, the ‘mutt’ was particularly protective and would never leave her side.
Her mum hears the frequent sounds of Cherry and her companion, a period of quietness of maybe several minutes elapses and she goes to check, no Cherry no dog.
Her mum and dad begin a search of the adjoining bush land, they call, they call. No response. And then the companion comes bounding through the bush, Cherry will be close behind. That was to be her parent’s best hope, Cherry didn’t materialize. The Police were contacted, the search for our little girl commenced soon after.
A little cryptic is the word to describe the sequence of events, but how else can it be explained. The little baby is lost for Gods sake.
Let me tell you that dozens of people were mobilized to search for little Cherry in minutes, we were all concerned for her well being in the dense forest behind her place, where are you Cherry?. A squad of ‘sniffer’ dogs and handlers, helicopter and lights made a preliminary search. Steven, was this scenario your dilemma?
We commenced a parallel search, it’s dark now, torches are glowing in the blackness. Blokes are calling her name, I say blokes there were some girls, but you know what I mean. Torches are running out of life. We stumbled through heavy forest and thick underbrush. Several of the search team walked right into a creek and became water logged, but they couldn’t give a rats arse. The memories of the monumental trek will come back for some, what about the dead cow in the creek, the bounding wallabies, the sounds of the ‘Horney frog mouth’, the brush turkeys. The people pushed on, we searched under logs, we looked in the bushes, men were frantic and had panic in their words, until.
There comes a time when logic and expediency must overtake stupidity, the area was so extensive, we were so few the search was abandoned until first light.
Now, remember the conditions, its darkest of night, wildlife, dead cow in the creek, forest and thickets, dogs barking, bright lights in the sky, people frantically calling her name, torches slicing into the darkness, there’s a baby out there.
At 0500 hours, and after 8 klms and 12 hours, a little tiny girl emerges from the forest, she knocks on the door of a caravan at Broken Head Caravan Park. The old couple are greeted by a tiny person completely naked, “hello I’m Cherry, I’m lost”.
Her mum tells us that Cherry recounts all of the above, how far behind were we, was our little heroine evading us, Steven, Cherry is your soul mate.
Johnfarls and dozens of people can attest, we cry. All stood down.


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