Bushfires at Applethorpe and Stanthorpe…

It’s been a tough past few days for those facing bushfires and an incredible effort by people banding together to fight fires and help people and animals. The resolve and grace of those who have lost so much is extraordinary.

Among the fires still burning are those at Stanthorpe and Applethorpe where, as many of you will know from my books, my Dad was born and three generations of my family previously lived at their Applethorpe farm.

According to QFES, firefighting is currently focused around the very roads bordering the farm. I can’t help but feel the area has had enough to deal in recent times with their water supply almost gone due to drought and now must face unprecedented fires. Really hoping for a reprieve all round very soon.

(Nanna Francesca beside the packing shed her father built and Nonno Anni pointing to the farmhouse – so him to get up on the fence!)

Update: While nearby paddocks got burnt out, relieved to say the house and sheds have survived thanks to the fantastic firefighting crews. That said, when an event like this occurs , it’s often a long time for things to return to ‘normal’, particularly for those who’ve lost much and especially an area already doing it tough and almost out of water. Really hoping for some decent rain soon.


Filed under inspiration + history

4 responses to “Bushfires at Applethorpe and Stanthorpe…

  1. Rosemary Pennisi

    Hi thanks for this update. I have been feeling sick over these bushfires. As you know I live in New Zealand now and I was born in Stanthorpe and began school there so Stanthorpe is important to me. Actually my Mum use to play with your Nonna Francesca when they lived on the farm. My mother’s maiden name was Bonaccorso. I use to talk to your Nonna every time I came home to visit my family in New Farm. Actually my family home is in New Farm. I knew your grandparents very well when I was growing up in New Farm. Thanks again for the update. Rosemary Pennisi

    • Hi Rosemary, yes, it’s been a very challenging time for the Stanthorpe area, both with the water shortages and then bushfires. I really feel for everyone involved. I understand your connection and how you must be feeling. Hopefully they can get a reprieve soon. (The latest I’ve heard at this stage is while the paddocks have been burnt out, the house that my family lived in at Applethorpe is still standing.)
      You mentioned the name Bonaccorso, I know Ian Bonaccorso and have his great book about Stanthorpe and many Italian migrant families in the area. I’m guessing you must be related. And what a small world that you lived so close to the family in New Farm too. I do recall your mentioning how you would catch up with my Nonna when you came to visit. Really lovely to hear from you again, Rosemary, and fingers crossed things turn around for Stanthorpe and Applethorpe very soon. Best wishes, Zoe xx

  2. Elizabeth

    Really thinking of all the people in Applethorpe and Stanthorpe. I didn’t know those areas until I read your books.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. Actually, unexpectedly a few people have said that to me about the town and the books in the past few days after hearing of the bushfires. Hope the area gets a reprieve soon. xx

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