CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The tragic events unfolding in the French Capital over the last week have left the people of Brisbane reeling as the remember back to a much more heartbreaking incident that took place in the city’s inner-North-West one fateful night at the turn of the millennium.
The iconic Notre Dame cathedral has been significantly damaged in a fire that has ripped through its roof and spire but the priceless collection of artwork inside has been recovered and authorities say the structure has been saved from total destruction.
The iconic Parisian tourists attraction was engulfed in flames just after it closed for the day. The fire has been likened, at least in Queensland, to the tragic Red Hill Skate Rink fire of 2002.
On Boxing Day 2002 just before 4am, sadly the skate arena fell victim to arson and the building was ablaze in a ball of smoke and fire. The next day twenty-three-year-old John Cameron Wright was charged with arson, break-and-enter and stealing.
“It’s a pretty similar feeling I spose” said one Red Hill resident, Wally Lockyer.
“It pains the heart to remember what we went through, though. I actually don’t really know if it compares”
“That Cathedral was important to some people… But the skate rink was for everyone”
“You can have all your artefacts and Catholicism, but it probably doesn’t match up”
“They used to play the funkiest music in there and we’d skate around backwards with safety pins in our denim jackets”
“It was the fashion at the time”
However, while close to one billion dollars has been raised to immediately restore the iconic French cathedral – there is yet to be any real work done on the Brisbane skate rink – 17 years later.