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'My whole life was under water': how Colin got it back


 

 


Four years after losing all his possessions in the devastating Bundaberg floods, Colin Crossey has never been more happy and grateful to be alive. "Every moment I'm awake I'm on cloud nine," the 97 year old says.

Colin enjoys a lifestyle people 20 years younger would envy. Every day he swims 1km in his local pool. He enjoys reading, studying the brain and mind theory.

It's a far cry from the days following the record 2013 flood, when his home# - a caravan# and all his belongings were destroyed in the raging torrent of water that swept through the town.

He recalls the help Red Cross provided at the time.

Forced by rising floodwaters to evacuate his caravan during the night, Colin found himself just with the clothes on his back, and sleeping in the Bundaberg Evacuation Centre which was managed by Red Cross Emergency Services volunteers.

He continues to be struck by the spirit of volunteerism; that the people worked around the clock caring for people who had lost so much.

"Unbelievable. .. I was fascinated by the work these people did for nothing. They cared for me when I needed help."

Colin even found new accommodation with some help from Red Cross.

Without Red Cross, he says, those decisions would have been impossible. "I had to decide what I was going to do with my life. I was very confused, lost everything, everything. My whole life was under water and I wasn't allowed to go near it."

Today he's enjoying catching up with long-serving local volunteer Dot who's a familiar face at disasters around south east Queensland.

"The work that Dorothy and her colleagues have done for me it's very much appreciated, Dorothy," he says.

Then he adds with an infectious grin: "And what I like about the work that you do is what you're doing now, smiling."

As to the secrets of his amazing long and active life?

"My advice to anyone is: Forget the past, think of this moment. Forget the future, it'll come, it's around somewhere. Be very positive in what you think and do. Get pleasure out of doing and thinking in a very positive fashion. It improves your health."

You can help with a tax deductible donation

You can help bring more good to the world by making a tax deductible donation before 30 June. Your tax deductible gift could help people like Colin are prepared for a disaster - and give them the practical and emotional support they need to recover afterwards.

You can help bring more good to the world by making a tax deductible donation before 30 June. Your tax deductible gift could help people like Colin are prepared for a disaster - and give them the practical and emotional support they need to recover afterwards.

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Make a tax deductible donation online, so you can bring more good wherever people need it.


 

(Caption) Six years after losing everything in a flood, Colin, 97, has never been happier (Photo: ARC, Amelia Wong)

(Caption) Colin enjoys catching up with Red Cross volunteer Dot (Photo: ARC, Susan Cullinan)

 

(Caption) Colin, 97, swims one kilometre every day (Photo: ARC, Amelia Wong)