1967 Bushfires

Children had varied experiences of the fires. For some they provided adventure, for many it was terrifying. A teacher at Collinsvale shepherded her class under a bridge to shelter; pupils at Snug sang in the assembly hall as their school burned around them. Some children fled into the sea, others ended up in hospital badly burned by flames. Children lost homes, toys, pets and, in tragic cases, parents. Fear and destruction was all around.

Five year old Phil Supplice spent weeks in the Royal Hobart Hospital’s Burns Unit recovering from burns he suffered when he and his mother ran through the fires at Electrona.

Kindergarten teacher Rosie Reid was visiting TMAG with a group of young students on 7 February 1967, and had to make her way through the smoky streets to get them home to their parents.

Gintaras Kantvilas was 11 years old in 1967 and helped his mother defend the family home at South Hobart.

Lindsay White was evacuated from school in Sorell, only to encounter elephants and lions from the Sole Bros and Wirth’s Circus taking shelter as well.

Image details: Rosie Reid and her kindergarten class walked through smoke-filled Hobart streets just like this one on Black Tuesday. Image: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.