Lynda Mallaby with the burnt out remains of her house at The Channon.
Lynda Mallaby with the burnt out remains of her house at The Channon.

Lynda's home will rise again

You always think “it couldn’t happen to me”, but it happened to Lynda Mallaby. Whilst travelling through South East Asia on a six-week holiday last year, lightning struck her house at The Channon and burned it to the ground.

She lost her home and everything in it.

Lynda’s house was uninsured and she is now living in a shed/studio owned by her brother.

“People said I was unlucky but I don’t think it has anything to do with luck. It was just one of those random occurrences. I’m just glad no-one was hurt... At least I have a roof over my head,” Lynda said optimistically.

The Channon community has been rallying around her since the disaster and a benefit concert will be held to help her out next weekend (Saturday, January 23).

The concert is being billed as the ‘Burning Down the House’ concert and organiser Andy Putnam said he was hoping to put the fun back into fundraiser and attract a crowded house.

“It’s something we wanted to do to help her, to get the community rallying around her for the cause,” Andy said.

Andy, who sings and plays guitar in the band Who We Are, said they had a song called Hope Will Rise Again which they have changed to Home Will Rise Again for the gig.

Lynda Mallaby said when Andy rang her out of the blue about doing the gig as a fundraiser, she was “happy to accept it with the grace that people wanted to give.”

“It’s good for my soul,” she said. “The community has been fantastic, rallying around me. I was overwhelmed, now I am just happily amazed. People have just been wonderful giving what they can. Just giving a hug means a lot. (The gig) is all about community support.

“Obviously I will need more finances to build again, but this is about people getting together for a fun night. Community is everything,” she said.

The gig is likely to be the first of several fundraisers.

Lynda had been living in the house for about five years and had been collecting materials and building for another five years prior to that.

She was coming back to start building stage two of the house after her holiday.

Lynda was in Cambodia when the lightning hit her house on November 17, but she didn’t find out about it until she got back to Australia on the 28th.

“I’m glad I didn’t know; it would have changed the whole toneof my holiday,” she said. “My partner picked me up from the airport and we stopped for lunch on the way home.

“After lunch he conveyed the news to me through lots of tears. It took me a couple of weeks, shaking my head in disbelief every morning. But now it’s time to move on.”

Lynda is now planning to rebuild on another part of the multiple occupancy property where she owns a share.

“I’ve got a site in mind that has been partially developed. It’s down the hill a bit so I won’t have the same view, but I’m willing to sacrifice that for safety’s sake. People say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but I don’t want to rebuild here.”

The gig is being held at The Channon Hall next Saturday, January 23, from 7pm and will feature Who We Are, Melissa Herman, Michael Skinner and Julie Wattus. Entry is $10 and people are being asked to bring a plate of food that can be sold in the kitchen.

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