January 2019 – First Published 31 Dec 2015 – This beautiful town, in Victoria, my home state in Australia is under attack by enormous bush fires. My heart goes out to the townspeople who have always made me welcome many of whom are being evacuated by military helicopter as I write. Australia is on Fire and many towns like this are facing destruction. This is what Climate change means
Oh me oh
Oh my oh
I’ve been to Omeo on three occasions
Twice after crossing the Victorian Alps
Once over Mount Hotham
The other time through Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains
These great riding/driving routes converge at Omeo
But my first visit there is the most memorable.
As a child of 10 or 11 I traveled to Omeo to stay with a family for the summer holidays.
My father had died a couple of years earlier and Legacy had arranged the holiday for me.
Nearly 50 years on my memories are sketchy.
The train trip to Bairnsdale then being picked up by the mail van, a Kombi van of the era for long winding climb to Omeo, punctuated by stops to drop off mail and me to be car sick.
I have some enduring memories of the family I stayed with.
Unfortunately I cant remember their name. But for a young boy from the industrial part of Melbourne it was eye opening.
They had a house cow and I used to separate the milk from the cream with a hand separator.
I shot a rifle, a 22.
They had a wood fired oven and the mother made these magnificent swiss rolls with fresh cream and home made jam.
There was wide open spaces, farm machinery scattered about and I ran free with the family’s children.
In reflection I can see they were not rich in a monetary sense but wealthy in terms of love and generosity.
Thats why Omeo for me.