If it wasn’t for a stranger acting quickly, a simple trip to the post office would have been Gerry Reside’s last.
If it wasn’t for a stranger acting quickly, a simple trip to the post office would have been Gerry Reside’s last. Adam Hourigan

Year in Review: biggest stories of September

• SEP 2: A FORMER Grafton doctor who is charged over his alleged role in an underground child stealing conspiracy will no longer face a stalking charge.

William Russell Massingham Pridgeon, founder of an anti-paedophile party, is alleged to have been the main financial backer behind the alleged abduction ring.

• SEP 3: IF IT wasn't for a stranger acting quickly, a simple trip to the post office would have been Gerry Reside's last. When he had a cardiac arrest outside the Post Office Hotel a quick thinking stranger who Gerry only knew as 'Mark'started performing CPR on the hotel manager, who lay motionless.

"I am so grateful to the fella that saved my life, if it wasn't for him I'd be dead," he said.

• SEP 4: A LEADING Islamic spokesman will share insights into his religion during a visit to Grafton as part of concerted efforts locally to promote multiculturalism.

Ali Kadri, who describes himself as a "social cohesion activist", will speak at the Headspace-sponsored event on International Peace Day.

• SEP 5: CONDITIONS ideal to spark devastating blazes have hit the Clarence Valley, and will only worsen. Rural Fire Service Clarence Valley district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said conditions are "extremely dry", with ground moisture levels exceeding severe.

• SEP 6: THE last time Mark Rae saw Gerry Reside he was being loaded into the back of an ambulance. The two men were reunited after Mr Reside put a call out through social media and The Daily Examiner to find the man who brought him back to life after suffering a cardiac arrest.

• SEP 7: A LOCAL resident is perplexed over a proposal to build 255 manufactured homes at Gulmarrad. A development application has been lodged for Glencoe Lifestyle Resort, a 255-site manufactured housing estate near the corner of Brooms Head Rd and Sheehans Lane, and Michael Casey questioned why it would be built in a semi-rural area.

• SEP 9: POLICE and the public at Iluka feared for their lives when a Yamba man went on a driving rampage at a sporting field and in nearby streets, Grafton Local Court has been told.

• SEP 10: LOWER Clarence residents were on red alert as a ferocious, fast-moving blaze threatened the two coastal villages of Angourie and Wooloweyah. The fire at Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area reached emergency warning level after firefighters' attempts to keep the blaze south of Lake Arragan failed and the emergency trigger point was hit.

• SEP 11: CONDITIONS were favourable for firefighters on the ground and in the air and the spread of the fire burning in bushland in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area slowed.

Conditions and the immediate threat to properties had eased, as the danger level was reduced to advice alert level, however firefighters continued to work in the area. The 9325ha fire threatened the coastal villages of Wooloweyah and Angourie.

• SEP 12: A NORTHEAST change means residents of Yamba, Angourie and Wooloweyah can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the Shark Creek fire front subsides. Dwellings came under direct ember attack at Angourie and Wooloweyah.

Incredibly, due to the efforts of fire crews there have no reports of significant property damage in those townships.

• SEP 13: NEW training aimed at giving young peopleskills to find jobs in Clarence Valley's burgeoning $106 million agriculture sector is available at TAFE.

TAFE NSW has introduced seven new courses at TAFE NSW Trenayr to feed the agriculture industry's growth in the region.

• SEP 14: THE Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service has declared the Shark Creek fire as being contained.

The fire burned two weeks from Shark Creek, southeast towards Brooms Head and northeast towards Angourie and Wooloweyah, and burned out about 10,900ha of land.

• SEP 16: HISTORY has shown the economic impact of fires can linger long after the event, so Lower Clarence businesses are getting on the front foot.

While the townships of Angourie, Wooloweyah and Yamba emerged from the recent fires with little to no damage to infrastructure, some business are counting the economic cost.

• SEP 17: TWO blown tyres didn't stop a Brisbane man as he led police on a dangerous highway pursuit near South Grafton.

Coffs Clarence police were notified of a green Mitsubishi Lancer that had allegedly stolen fuel from the BP service station. About 15 minutes later, police detected the car travelling north along the Pacific Highway near Bonville at 140km/h without registration plates.

• SEP 18: PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has launched an impassioned defence of the cashless welfare card, labelling it a 'no-brainer'.

Brushing aside concerns from civil libertarians and welfare groups, Mr Hogan said he would continue to support a national roll-out of the card after results he had seen through the trials.

• SEP 19: A FAULTY pin that has sidelined the Grafton to Sydney XPT service was first found on a locomotive in January 2018. However, the centre-pin design for the locomotive is so specialised it took the NSW Government more than a year to find a supplier. Authorities have discovered three more faulty pins on XPT locomotives since, with the Grafton to Sydney service replaced by road coaches.

• SEP 20: REBELLION is coming to Grafton streets, with hundreds of school students predicted to leave their classrooms to join the worldwide School Strike for Climate Action. Organisers have planned to bus in students from around the Clarence Valley for a march down Prince St.

• SEP 21: THE Lower Clarence was hit with a spate of robberies and break-ins including an armed robbery of a service station.

An employee at the Caltex Service Station on Treelands Drive, Yamba was allegedly robbed by an armed offender.

• SEP 23: ONE of Australia's leading Islamic spokespeople Ali Kadri was in Grafton on Saturday with a clear message - the Muslim community does not associate the city with one person and his actions.

"Brenton Tarrant does not represent Grafton," he said.

• SEP 24: A GULMARRAD pensioner wants changes to the law after he has been left $3761 out of pocket because an orthodontist he engaged to do dental work on his daughter died before he completed the work.

Edward Steele said the Clarence orthodontist, Christiaan Van Vuuren, had died of cancer in October last year and late last this month liquidators revealed there was not enough money in the estate to cover the costs of work his customers had paid for, but he had not completed before his death.

• SEP 25: THE driver involved in a head-on collision that killed a Grafton man has avoided jail time after he was sentenced. Mitchell Jackwitz, from Ipswich, west of Brisbane, appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court after the 21-year-old entered a guilty plea to negligent driving causing death for the 2017 crash that killed 44- year-old Matthew Benson.

• SEP 26: IF YOU must have a policy banning helium-filled balloons it would seem mandatory to include the word "prohibit" in the wording.

At Clarence Valley Council's Tuesday meeting it was exactly this failing that led to more than an hour of debate over putting a draft proposal banning the sale and use of helium-filled balloons on council property on public display for 28 days.

• SEP 27: THE final bill to Clarence Valley ratepayers for the reckless destructionof an Aboriginal scar tree in Grafton has come to $367,676.75.

According to figures presented to the Clarence Valley Council meeting on Tuesday, the sum is $5100 less than the estimate given to the April council meeting after the Land and Environment Court handed down a guilty verdict in late 2018.

SEP 28: THE annual meeting of the GDSC Westlawn Men's Golf Clubcould be the last in the club's current format.

Club president David Lynch said because the GDSC would not renew the lease for the course after the end of this year, the club had decided to put election of officer bearers on hold.

SEP 30: RED and yellow flags were back on the beach at Yamba, signalling the start of a new patrolseason for surf lifesavers. The team at Yamba was prepared for another big season. Vice-captain Lloyd Palmer said school holidays were always a busy period to start the season.