On the 16 February 1983, the Ash Wednesday fires destroyed it.
I was working in a factory when I heard about the fires. I could smell smoke and when I looked out the window the light seemed to have changed. The sky was brownish red and I knew it was a bushfire that had created a dust storm. It was 43 degrees celsius that day. Some of the women in the factory started to scream. They hadn't been in Australia very long and had never seen anything like this before. They thought the world was going to end. The boss let us go home early because the heat was unbearable. I had to walk in that heat and you could have fried an egg off the bricks of the building.
The Ash Wednesday fires consisted of some of the most devastating bushfires Australia has ever experienced, sweeping through parts of Victoria and South Australia. Between April 1982 and January 1983, Victoria experienced severe drought conditions and little rainfall, resulting in its driest period on record. A combination of grasslands and forests, very high temperatures, low humidity and high wind gusts presented Victoria with a high bushfire risk.*
The largest bushfires started in Victoria at Cudgee and Branxholme (near Warrambool, around Mount Macedon, in the Dandenong Ranges - Cockatoo, Upper Beaconsfield and Belgrave Heights, Monivale, Branxholme, Warburton and in the Otways. Fires also broke out in South Australia, wl 159, 000 hectares of land in the Adelaide Hills and in farming country in the south east of the state were burnt in the fires.*
Me and Frida pet dog