Clarence River stories welcome

PEOPLE from across the Clarence Valley were invited to share their stories about their experiences with the Clarence River yesterday as a part of the Clarence River Way project.

With the vision of turning the Clarence River into a major tourist destination, yesterday’s story sharing was a part of the research stage of the project and will help planners establish a story bank, to find out what people really remember about the Clarence.

Clarence Valley Councillor Ian Tiley got up in front of the group and shared his fondest memories about the river.

“I feel very connected to the river because of my family,” Cr Tiley said.

“One of my grandfather’s earliest memories as a little boy was the grandfather flood of the Clarence, the 1890 flood,” he said.

“When he was 13, he went to work in the quarry by the river to help feed his poor family,” he said.

“He raised six children by the river in Maclean in a slab hut home and one of those kids was my mother.

“She lived in the Clarence. She swam in it, fished in it, walked beside it to school barefooted during the depression.

“One of her brothers fished that river his entire life.

“I myself, during the school holidays, used to jump straight into the river for a swim and a fish.

“I have a connection that is very emotional in some ways, but an important one none the less.”

The project itself has set many targets that have to do with enhancing tourism and destination development.

However, Cr Tiley said that this initial information gathering and planning was one of the most important steps.

“We want to find out people’s stories to promote knowledge about the river, whatever that story might be.

“It’s not all about history; it might be about falling into the river at the age of 10 on the way home from school.

“This is an informative process that will enable us to more effectively promote out river to Australia and beyond,” he said.

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