17.6 C
Byron Shire
October 8, 2022

Flood ravaged Mullum a paradise for some

Latest News

It’s Ageism Awareness Day

It’s Ageism Awareness Day and the peak body for older Australians, the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, say we must all take action to address the scourge of ageism –  stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.

Other News

The soul of football-based sports

'It is around this time of the year I look at myself in the mirror and ask, "what is wrong with me?"' 

Native treats found in Broken Head

Auntie’s Cafe has now opened in Broken Head Holiday Park and is serving a delicious menu inspired by local native foods.

Advocates push for the return of rail

A group of residents committed to the return of rail services to the area say the first stage of planning is underway ‘to bring our tracks back to life and extend a climate-friendly train service to Mullumbimby, with the second stage to provide rail services to Bangalow’.

Don’t forget your life jacket

A statewide waterway compliance blitz has found a that a large number of boaters are failing to carry and wear a lifejacket as requuried.

Bundjalung art market

This year the region’s favourite Art on Bundjalung Market is coming to Kyogle on Saturday 22 October. The event...

Rain on the way…

Heavy rain is expected across much of the east coast of Australia over the coming week, but there is cautious optimism that the Northern Rivers won't cop the worst of the falls this time.

Igor is happy to be in Mullumbimby, and his daughter Alina is happier. Photo Tree Faerie.

Being in post-flood Mullum at the moment is no walk in the park, but for recent Ukrainian arrival Igor Zorkin, Mullumbimby has been, for the last week, a paradise.

Even a Ukrainian local would need a degree in history to work out the political and border changes in Igor’s home town of Luhansk, known in Russian as Lugansk, and formerly known as Voroshilovgrad, which is a city in eastern Ukraine, in the disputed Donbas region.

Luhansk is currently the capital and administrative centre of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a breakaway State established in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists. Yet it’s not part of Russia and it sits in a kind of no man’s land between Russia, and Ukraine – a Johnny-in-the-middle.

English-speaking world knew more of the war

Igor has left his home of Luhansk behind. Original map – Radomir Zinovyev.

Igor’s daughter Alina has been living in Australia for 15 years and says the English-speaking world knew more of what was coming than the people at ground zero, and she was really scared for dad’s safety. ‘The whole world outside Russia and the Ukraine knew war was starting any day, so I quickly applied for his visa. I was crying on the phone to him every day – trying to convince him to leave his town and be ready as soon as we got a visa and tickets.’ 

Alina says Igor had to go to Kyiv (Kiev) to get a medical check up. Not only did he have -o cross the border from the republic to Ukraine, a passage that is only allowed once a month, he also had to fly out of Russia to get to Australia – which he did the day before the war began.

Once in Melbourne he spent a week in COVID quarantine before arriving in Mullum on March 7, a week after the deluge.

Mullum is wonderful

Though locally we are sad for Mullum, Igor thinks it’s wonderful. ‘Back home the roads are terrible, there’s no running hot water – in Kyiv yes, but not in our little town. I get paid $10 for the whole day. It’s a hard life for people. This is better for me here.’

Igor says that Mullum is also more friendly. ‘I’m really surprised that everyone on the streets says hello. It doesn’t happen in my country. If people don’t know each other, they don’t say hello.’

Igor says it is terribly difficult to see what is happening in Ukraine now – he has no family left there, but it is his home and it’s hard for him to witness what is going on.

Feeling blessed

Alina says she is not sure what will happen to her dad. He is currently on a parent visa for a year, but she hopes that he can stay. ‘It would have broken my heart if he didn’t leave in time and had stayed in Ukraine when the war started. I feel blessed that he is here with us now but my heart is bleeding for people in Ukraine – for mothers who have lost their kids, for families who leave their fathers and husbands behind and run away to save the children. 

‘I hope and pray for the people in this war. In my eyes there is no such a thing as winning a war, as at the end of it all a lot of people will die, mothers whose sons will die fighting the war will never find peace in their lives and will never see their boys again.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Norco set for rebuild but what about other businesses?

While the community digests Tuesday’s news of Norco’s Lismore ice cream factory’s rebuild, Norco Chief Executive, Michael Hampson wants to stress the importance of the plight of all flood-affected Lismore businesses including small and medium size ventures.

Flood-affected youth film screening tomorrow

Flickerfest and One Vision Productions have joined forces to facilitate a workshop and free film screening that has brought flood-affected youth together to tell their stories.

Eco Festival bringing Tweed residents together to get climate-ready

The Eco Festival, to be held in Murwillumbah, aims to bring Tweed residents together for a fun, free event with practical tips to help residents prepare to be climate-ready and environmentally friendly.

More pieces added to New Italy’s history

Dr Pol Dalmau, will visit the New Italy Museum on Sunday to talk about the Spanish archives with information about the Italian families who settled in the town from 1882.