Laguna Quays Respite
Cyclone Debbie struck the Whitsundays Islands and mainland from 25-29 March bringing devestation in its wake with winds of up to 257ks with a huge impact of torrential rain.
Numbers of the Whitsundays Islands resorts ran out of drinking water, tourists were hiding in one room in their units as the cyclone struck, buildings were demolished, jetty's destroyed and for a day or two, emergency services could not get to them.
Airlie Beach, Cannonvale and Proserpine were in the direct path of Cyclone Debbie while Bowen to the north and Midge Point to the south were in the circle of destruction as it headed inland and then in a broad drenching arc south eventually dropping its huge rainfall on the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales where its destruction continued with horrendous flooding.
Electricity was out on the Whitsundays mainland for several days. Ergon were unable to do anything until it was safe to do so, which was essentially three days. The Bruce Highway was closed with massive flooding north and south. The Australian Army Emergency Services were called in but they too could not attend to anything until it was safe to do so with such rainfall and high winds.
The Bloomsbury – Midge Point – Laguna Quays Marina area lost its power, there were no phones, roads were blocked, no internet and iphone technology became usless. Strangely people were able to use Facebook to communicate. One Bloomsbury resident said that when Cyclone Yassi came through in 2011 they were without power for 11 days. This time it could be longer. The infrastructure is a mess.
The surge on the Laguna Quays Marina was 1.75metres above the wharf. Midge Point was flooded to three streets with 2 metres of water and its beach was ripped apart with all the high tech goe-fabric that the locals put in – total devastation, in some places the sand line is up the picnic settings on the beach front street.
Midge Point was isolated without food or water for four days. Mackay Council sent in a helicopter on Wednesday 28 March and where the Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson later published on his facebook a video of Midge Point Beach wipe-out. The Midge Point Rural Fire Service had their Facebook informing everyone which roads were closed and hat was happening as best as they could.
Laguna Quays Respite concrete drive
Laguna Quays Respite
The Laguna Quays missionary cottage is on Marine Parade, one side of the street is Laguna Quays and the other side is Midge Point. The cottage is on the Laguna Quays side. I could not contact anyone as the phone and mobile phone networks were down, there was no power and therefore no internet to contact anyone.
It wasn't until Friday 31 March when the phones came back on-line that I was able to connect with this same neighboour's husband who happened to do all the concreting at the mission project. He went over to the cottage the day before to check it.
Structure was intact
The car port entertainment bbq area intact
The high cyclone fences intact
The 5 fox tail palm trees along the nature strip were intact
The plastic chairs around the bbq were blown to the fence
It cottage looked totally sealed – no windows were broken – there is a large veranda at the front protecting the front door and a huge patio at the back protecting the back door. One side of the cottage is a large solid shed (one day will be a house). The rear was protected in some measure by thick bush land of Laguna Quays Resort. The right hand side has three vacant blocks to double storey huge shed.
The small cottage was trucked to the site in 2002 from Clare near Townsville where it was the Water Board's manager's residence. The then owner took additional effort to secure the building on 900cm steel stilts with strong foundations and a tight design construction with a reasonably low three point roof. He put up a high cyclone fence (the wind blew through it) for his daughter and family.
It came to us in 2011 and we became very good friends with the then owners. We had concrete laid along the side of the cottage (wet weather) and a drive way and path to the veranda. When the car port entertainment centre was constructed in 2013 it was purposely left open – the wind blew through.
Laguna Quays Respite
Opened for missionaries we thru Well-Being Australia developed this mission respite ministry after my wife Delma and I had ministered respite to Australian Institute of Sport elite athlete "respite" in both Moruya (Basil Sellers Moruya) and Tweed Heads (Basil Sellers Tweed) since 1992.
The Laguna Quays Respite facility was a dream of ours to serve our mission community with a no-cost rest and recuperation experience and the Whitsundays provides many such opportunities for relaxation.
There is no charge for the Laguna Quays Respite cottage yet visitors are welcome to leave a gifting to help with its functioning costs. Over these six years mission people have visited the Laguna Quays Respite facility from such missions and denominations as:
SIM, CMS, WEC, SU, TEAR, BCS, UCA, YM, Wycliffe, BCA, YWAM, MAF, AFES, CM, ASEF, NZ Missions, Global Interaction, Japan Missions, China Missions, independent missions and Ministers and pastors from many denominations.
It has also been a wonderful solace for pastors and specialist ministry personnel who need timeout to relax their head space and for those wanting to seriously reflect as their prepare significant messages or writing designations. It is a broad church.
Enquiries are welcome for bookings - missionaries / home missions / school chaplains / pastors - to contact us for your respite visit to the Whitsundays –firstname.lastname@example.org 0419 917 713
Laguna Quays Respite website also hosts the video. http://www.bushorchestra.com/respit
Laguna Quays Respite car port bbq area and lawns mowed
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at