Summary

Tool box containing three shearing hand pieces, sheep rattle and small oil can. This was found with its lid open in the ruins of Ron Hayter's home in Haven (near Horsham) following the destruction of his home by the Black Saturday bushfires on 7th February 2009. Apart from his car, Ron lost everything he owned in this fire which destroyed his home in just 2-3 minutes.

The tool box was used on Ron Hayter's hobby farm located near Harrow, approximately 100kms from Haven. This 183 hectare (453 acre) bush block was purchased by Ron Hayter with his parents when he was 17 years old in 1951. Ron describes his farm as a "glorified scrub block". He was not permitted to clear the block, and uses it to run 250 sheep. It was not suitable for lambing because of foxes. Ron used the shearing equipment in his neighbours shed, for crutching the sheep and dealing with any fly strike. The tool box and contents are approximately 40 years old.

This oil can forms part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, which also includes photographs and interviews relating to the Remlaw bushfire that burnt through Haven on Black Saturday.

Physical Description

Burnt metal tool box, with hinged lid. Handle in middle of lid is missing, but the handle attachments are still present. Front of box indicates the presence of two clasps, but neither are present. Surface is significantly blistered and with a variety of grey to white colouration. The metal has rusted. Interior is also flaky. Interior contents: Three shearing hand pieces, sheep rattle, small oil can, pine needles and leaves, white form.

Significance

Found in the remains of the donor's burnt out home in Haven, south east of Horsham. The fire came from across the road between two homes (left unharmed) and destroyed the donor's home in approximately 2 minutes. A ute with a water trailer attached were at the front of the home and were also destroyed by the fire. The donor lost everything - the only remaining items that were not destroyed by the fire were his car and his son's car. This item is relates to the Remlaw bushfire near Horsham which started on 7th February 2009, and destroyed 13 houses and burnt 2,200 hectares. This fire was contained on 8th February 2009.

Much of the media representation focused on the catastrophic impact of the fires on Kinglake and Marysville areas, where deaths were recorded. The Haven fire was not well recorded in wider media.

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