An awful loss: Bill Gordon, with grandson Benjamin, shares the community’s grief.BILL Gordon’s weathered face said it all as he pondered the loss of children Georgia and Kaden Wilson in a Dunkeld farmhouse fire early yesterday not far from his home.
Nanjing Night Net

His two-year-old grandson Benjamin had been playing with one of the children only a few weeks ago.

“This tragedy will be felt for a long time,” he said. “It will have a big impact on the local community and will hit Dunkeld very hard.

“It’s just an awful loss to know that two kids with their lives in front of them have gone.

“There’s no doubt the community will rally to offer whatever support it can.

“When the chips are down people here rise to the need.

“Aaron (the father) worked with me on my farm several times and was well known as a terrific worker.

“He did a lot of the gardening at Devon Park and they appreciated the opportunity to move on to the property recently.

“The kids were loving the outdoors.”

Dunkeld Consolidated School principal Pat Gleeson and school council president Simon Cullinane visited the distraught parents yesterday afternoon.

“I’m gutted by the tragedy and the great loss for Aaron and Tanya,” Mr Cullinane said.

“They are greatly loved. Words can’t describe their grief.

“They and their kids were so much a part of the school and kindergarten and wider community.”

The school’s 78 pupils were officially told the sad news yesterday morning and were given updates at a special afternoon assembly.

They were also given letters to take home with tips for parents on how to deal with trauma.

A psychologist, welfare officer and counsellor visited the school to speak with staff and children.

“We’ve had terrific support from the Education Department and general community,” Mr Gleeson said.

Dunkeld Progress Association president Doug Fleming said the tragedy was hard to believe.

“It’s difficult to reconcile that two young lives have been lost,” he said. “Words don’t explain what people are feeling about it — a horrendous tragedy.”

He said the fire would be top of the agenda at Monday night’s meeting of the association.

“We don’t yet know what the family’s needs are, but we will be supporting them how ever we can,” Mr Fleming said.

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