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Black Saturday Remembrance Cruise
Healesville was alive with the sound of 500 engines when the annual Black Saturday Remembrance Car Cruise rumbled through the town on Saturday 2 February.
Hot Rods, Cadillacs, Minis, Commodores, motorbikes and regular cars took the 45-minute journey from Lilydale to Healesville, passing towns and communities affected by the 2009 fires, almost exactly four years after Black Saturday.
Local radio station, Yarra Valley (99.1FM) broadcast the event, while residents waved by the convoy from the side of the road.
In Healesville the cars and bikes were put on display while a ceremony took place at Healesville Historic Railway Station. Speeches were made, including one from Local MP, Member of Parliament for Casey, Tony Smith, who presented the cruise with the Australian flag which had flown in Parliament House before the fires. A minute’s silence was then held in honour of the 173 lives lost in 2009, and a candle was lit in the Labyrinth memorial site.
After the ceremony, Healesville brigade members held a sausage sizzle and a raffle was drawn. Stories and information were shared, while local band Exploded View performed well into the night.
The event raised $10,000, all of which was donated to the Healesville brigade.
The annual event is organised by Slamed Creations’ owners, Stacey and Troy Kinsmore, who originally thought to run the cruise as a tribute to their friends who perished in the fires. This innovative idea quickly spread to others, resulting in 450 vehicles taking part in the cruise last year.
In December 2012, Slamed Creations was recognised at the Fire Awareness Awards, where the cruise won the ‘Community – Recovery’ award and the overall ‘RACV Award for Excellence’, as well as being awarded a grant to help run this year’s cruise.
“I want to do it as we need to show to the people that are still so emotionally scarred by these fires that we have not forgotten about them,” Stacey Kinsmore said.
“A lady, who had lost both her parents came up to me and said it was a great way for her to finally go back through the fringe of the fire devastation. Being part of the cruise gave her the opportunity to be supported, but still have her own reflection and privacy during the cruise.”
Funds from the Fire Awareness Awards grant went towards advertising, traffic control, fluoro vests for volunteers and goods for the sausage sizzle.
For more information about the cruise, visit The Black Saturday Remembrance Cruise Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/317940934917675/