The heart of the community

 Never has there been such community outcry on the Tribune’s social media as there was when we broke the news that there had been a major fire at the high school.

The people of Yass certainly hold their school in high regard and were devastated to hear part of it had been destroyed.

It was through our Facebook page that those of us new to Yass discovered a significant piece of the community’s history was gone; the industrial kitchen in honour of former student Geordie Whitfield.

So much hard work had gone into raising funds for Geordie’s Kitchen, after his death in 2002, and people had taken the news hard.

Several of Geordie’s friends and former classmates said the apprentice chef’s memory would live on regardless of the damage the fire had caused.

Our page three story covers the background behind the 18-year-old and how his memorial had helped many students in their food pursuits.

But it’s not just the buildings that were lost; a lot of student work is now among the ashes. Work that often children would put more time and effort into than the average essay or maths problem.

The fire was also a reminder of how the community rallies around those in need. That day staff was working on a plan of attack for the rest of the week.

They had access to the Baptist Hall and, thanks to support from the other schools and groups in the town, were able to get back to class yesterday.

Teachers are hopeful to be back at the school site by next week.

The people of Yass are finding positives in the charred remains of the school buildings.

Geordie’s mum, Julie, saw it as an opportunity to renew the kitchen which was almost a decade old.

And Yass High is on the top of the list for funding to rebuild and that could mean up to $5 million for the school.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear the impact the blaze has had on the community has certainly not dented its spirit.

Fire fighters had their hands full at Yass High on Saturday night.

Fire fighters had their hands full at Yass High on Saturday night.


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