Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

The 1949 Cyclone Was Scary and Killed Several People

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

The 1949 Cyclone Was Scary and Killed Several People

Article excerpt

BRIAN Norris was 17 and an apprentice butcher when a cyclone started to bear down on Gladstone in 1949.

It came closest to the town at 2pm on March 2 but Mr Norris said it was apparent much earlier in the day conditions were going to get dangerous.

"We had gone out onto a farmer's property to butcher some pigs," Mr Norris said.

"It was about 9am and as we were standing there I saw some large gum trees being blown down by the wind.

"I pointed it out to my boss.

"And I've never seen anyone kill, gut and throw a pig onto the back of a truck so fast."

Winds reached 120kmh as the cyclone moved over Gladstone.

Mr Norris said the wind was so fierce the sound of it howling through the streets is etched into his memory and the sight of a 14m boat resting where CQUniversity campus stands today was unforgettable.

"It was blown off its moorings and there wasn't another tide big enough to free it," he said.

"They paid two men to dig trenches all the way around it and waited for a tide big enough to get it back out to sea. …

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