31 Dec My Shack
We built our first shack in the 60s and as was the norm it was designed to ensure it was difficult to break in to. All windows and doors were barred from the inside, exterior wall were of full sheets of flat galvanised iron and the floor was tamped shell grit.
When my two sons were born and taken to Wedge (Greg was 6 week old) the fact that a variety of local fauna had found refuge in the shack my wife Christine became vocal that she was unhappy having her child exposed to these creatures.
The decision was taken to build another dwelling with a wooden floor. Over a period of time the frames were built in Perth and these and all the other material were transported to Wedge by Ben Matthews. This was an arduous and slow trip and I was most happy he made it without any problems of getting bogged or blowing tyres.
That Saturday morning I began the setting out of the house and started to dig holes for the stumps. Then to my surprise half a dozen shack owners turned up and began to help me, this assistance by these people was not sought but given altruisticaly All the stumps were in place by lunch time and the floor joists were in place by evening.
This has been the norm through out Wedge history, always give your neighbour a hand.
Over the following two weeks the shack was able to be locked up. Like all such efforts there are always a hiccup or two. Ours was when late on Saturday afternoon no 2 son Matthew then 2 ½ years old managed to gash his wrist on a iron strap. This meant we had to up stakes to get him first aid. (there was no Pie Shop then). Half way to Lancelin a man seemed to leap out of a bush waving his arms. He was warning south bound traffic of an accident that had occurred. We reached the scene a VW going north had a head on with a Holden coming south (two army reservists had been reconnoitring Bull Frog army camp site. As is the norm a blind corner caused the accident. One of the four VW crew was apparently dead the two in the front seat were trapped and unable to be move. I had no means of getting them out. I made a decision to get help from Lancelin and took off. Nearly to Lancelin I met an army Landrover with medical people coming north. The other Holden occupant had headed south with same idea to warn other and had met the army vehicle . The next vehicle was the son of a old Wedge member . This was his first trip on his own having just qualified to drive. When he arrived at the scene the two trapped occupants had been released but the obviously dead person they were going to leave at the scene. Apparently by law, the police must attend before removal of a deceased. He felt so strongly about leaving this person at the scene he had those present place the body in his car and he took it back to Lancelin. He, a 17 year old showed remarkable maturity in such difficult circumstances.
By week two the shack was finished and liveable. It served us well and we had many wonderful stays especially many of my extended family made use of the dwelling. In fact at this present time a third generation are enjoying going to Wedge.The sad note was when at 4am one morning I had a phone call from Rosco Knipe telling me it had been burnt to the ground. It was arson. The arson squad attended and even though there was clear evidence of the perpetrator was identified insufficient evidence was unavailable for prosecution
This act was so unusual for Wedge which for most of its existence has been of co-operation and good will to all who visit.
Wedge Story by: Giorgia McGrath