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Strike Team 9034's ghostly outing
During the recent Aberfeldy bushfire, the historic gold mining township of Walhalla was under imminent threat. This was the fifth time in seven years that the town had been threatened by bushfire and yet the town has never (in 150 years) lost a single building to a bushfire.
By Brian Brewer
Just before the Australia Day weekend, a strike team from District 9 was allocated to protect assets in the town. Like many deployments it was a case of waiting for a wind change.
With all preparation completed, the team returned to the Star Hotel, which was being used as the control centre for the town. It was a case of filling in time until the wind change which was still eight hours away.
Long time CFA member and Walhalla local, Brian Brewer, offered to conduct a ghost tour of the township to entertain the group. The strike team leader, Col Stockdale, approved the activity as at any time the group would only be about 10 minutes from the Star Hotel.
Brian is also a member of the Walhalla Heritage and Development League and a tour guide on the popular Walhalla Ghost Tours.
Brian set off at 8.30pm, in period dress, with a group of around 20 firefighters in rural PPC and carrying lanterns! A very jovial tour was conducted and, as well as hearing about the towns creepy past, all firefighters got a better understanding of the town's historic buildings and the significance of protecting them.
The tour concluded about 1.5 hours later with a tour of the museum.
By the noise of the snoring in the Star Hotel that night it appeared that even the ghost stories were not enough to keep the weary firefighters awake!
Read another story about strike teams in Walhalla.
Photo: Brian Brewer leads the ghost tour