Nymboida SES more than happy with Jan
By TOBY WALKER
JAN BATHERSBY couldn't understand why her father Norm was so keen to get her out of the house and off to the pub.
It was still a couple of hours until midday and she had only driven down from Byron Bay that morning to catch up with her Mum and Dad in her former home of Nymboida.
An early call to the pub wasn't what she expected.
But more surprises were awaiting her in the front room of Roches Hotel when she arrived with her family.
Members from the Nymboida SES, the unit three generations of Mrs Bathersby's family had volunteered for, had organised a surprise homecoming to award her a special honour.
In 1997, Mrs Bathersby devised a pioneering flood prediction scheme that pooled rainfall data collected by primary schools around the Nymboida catchment to monitor river flows downstream in the Clarence River.
Known as the Rain Readers program, the Nymboida SES scheme received national recognition, taking out the Volunteer Emergency and Safety Services category in the National Australia Bank Community Link Awards, as well as being adopted by schools in Victoria and Tasmania.
Mrs Bathersby could be forgiven for thinking the massive trophy she lugged back from Melbourne after receiving the award was the ultimate recognition for the scheme, but there was more to follow.
Last Friday the Nymboida SES presented Mrs Bathersby with a special commendation medal from SES Director General Philip McNamara for her contribution to the organisation. A humbled Mrs Bathersby thanked the Nymboida unit and reserved special praise for her parents, Norm and Gwen.