Heart of gold

Heart of gold

Anne Fagg’s proclivity for volunteering comes naturally. 

The Rocky Cape resident was recently recognised in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List for her services to the communities of Rocky Cape and Wynyard. 

She shares the honour with husband Chris, who was recognised for his services to the Australian Army Cadets and Northern Territory Police in 2001. 

The couple, who marked their golden wedding anniversary last year, have whole-heartedly dedicated every day to bettering the lives of others. 

It was in Darwin, Northern Territory in 1974 when the pair were first thrust into this. 

Cyclone Tracy hit the capital city, destroying everything in its path including the Faggs’ family home. 

Chris was a third class sergeant with Northern Territory Police at the time, and part of his role in the force was to establish a shelter in the local high school. 

In the days after the devastation while Chris was in the field, Anne and others tended to those seeking shelter in the school. 

“At the end of it we were feeding nearly 7000 people,” she says. 

Residents scavenged through blown away houses to find canned goods and frozen meat, though without power to cook, makeshift barbecues were built from corrugated iron and bricks and heated by the territory sun. 

“Everybody came together, just ordinary people doing extraordinary things – it was incredible,” she says. 

After three days, evacuation started so Anne and her two eldest children Lisa and Martin, five and three years old at the time, were sent to New Zealand to live with Anne’s parents. Chris remained on duty in Northern Territory. 

After three months, the family reunited and began to rebuild their life in Darwin, living in a van on the block where their house had once stood. 

In 1980, the family moved to Rocky Cape to start afresh after a holiday to the state years earlier captured Anne and Chris’ attention.  

Here, Anne is a charter member of the Rocky Cape Lions Club since 2000, where she held the position of club secretary til 2009 then club president and zone chairperson throughout 2009 and ’10. 

Between 2011 and ’13, she was regional chairperson and since 2017 she has been a guiding Lion. 

She has also served Lions Tasmania as state leadership training coordinator and secretary of the State Leadership Committee since 2015. 

Anne and fellow member Kevin Radford are the last of the remaining charter members in a club that continues to work for its community. 

“While I can put one foot in front of the other, I’ll continue with Lions,” says Anne. 

The local’s contributions extend outside of Circular Head too with her involvement in the Tasmanian State Emergency Services’ Wynyard unit from 1992 to 2010. A volunteer at the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Wynyard store since ’98, Anne was also involved in Waratah-Wynyard Council’s driver reviver program from 2002 to ’10. 

Rocky Cape resident Anne Fagg, with husband Chris, was recognised in the General Division of the Order of Australia last month. Picture: Ashleigh Force.