Convoys of Rotarians headed to the Central West to drop non-perishable food and personal care items to those affected by floods. Representing Rotary Clubs of Kurrajong North Richmond, Pennant Hills, Carlingford and Dee Why Warringah, the goods were taken to the showground in Eugowra, and the Baptist Church in Cowra. There to greet them were Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Orange, Cowra and Parkes who have been assisting ever since the floods arrived in the area in mid-November.
Eugowra is a small, rural town, noted for its pretty murals, on a backroad east of Forbes. The surrounding countryside is the greenest we had ever seen but the roads are potholed, some areas subsiding and the fences draped with flood swept vegetation. 
Metres of SES tape surround houses in the town and the shops, hotel and other downtown stores are empty. The waters of the normally trickling Menadgery Creek, ripped through the town, moving homes of their foundations and sadly killing two residents. 
Those who remain are living day to day, centring on the showground which has become the place to shower, wash clothes, cook meals and have a table and chair to eat them at.
It’s the town’s default headquarters where residents, volunteers and government departments work together to assist those whose homes are damaged or lost. Others whose homes have been spared drop in as they have no power. A large shed has many lounge suites so when people need a break they can rest, or chat with others who understand their immediate and long term needs. As we arrived late morning there were few people using the facilities – they were at their homes doing what they could. We dropped of our goods, with members of the Rural Fire Service, St Johns Ambulance and others quickly stepping in to assist.
Ed Strom from the Rotary Club of ??? owns a house in Eugowra and knows many of the locals. He said that the 1952 flood saw water inches below the floorboards, this year was 1.6 metres above. Meanwhile, in Cowra, they liaised with the Cowra Baptist Church. They realised large plastic tubs were desperately needed so a quick phone around found funds and the tubs and these were ordered and delivered that afternoon. The exercise showed that while Rotarians are NOT first responders, they are people of action who step in as soon as they can with practical help to assist those so desperately in need.
As I write this, our DG Mina Howard’s husband Larry is heading to Cowra with more goods donated by Rotarians in Hawkesbury, Nepean and Blue Mountains – areas so badly affected by floods and fires in recent years.
District Secretary - Liz McDougall