The aftermath of the tornado.
The aftermath of the tornado. Jay Cronan

People show resilience

AT 8.15am today, the Lennox Head community will get together for an important event – a tree-planting.

But this tree-planting is unlike any other.

It is being done at the sand dune opposite Lennox St, where the first tree was taken out by the tornado that hit the village exactly 12 months ago.

President of the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce, Louise Owen, said it was hard to believe it had been a year since the “terrifying tornado ripped through” the village.

She said the tree-planting was about the community showing “resilience, strength, courage and growth”.

“We saw the carnage, felt the tumultuous emotions, stared in disbelief, helped in the clean-up, raised over $60,000, but most of all survived,” Ms Owen said.

“We lost some residents who could no longer stay here and others who needed to find new homes.

“Nevertheless, we are a caring and strong community who showed its true colours when the chips were down.

“Congratulations to all the emergency workers, the council, tradespeople and locals who brought us back from the brink to the wonderful community we all know and love.”

The past 12 months have been difficult for the village as it struggled to rebuild.

With the freak tornado becoming national news, many visitors feared to return to Lennox.

According to some business operators, people still believe the town is in ruins.

“There are people who still think we are destroyed from the tornado,” one businesswoman, who would not be named, said.

“They think we haven’t recovered, so they don’t bother coming back.

“We need to let people know that we’re fine and we want visitors.

“It’s been really tough for businesses here.

“It is hard to imagine how they are coping up in Queensland after the floods, when we have suffered so much just from that one storm.”

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