07:00 02 February 2013
Lent, the season of penance and prayer will shortly be upon us, followed by the glory of Easter. This prime celebration in the Christian calendar would appear a spiritual contradiction when one considers tragedies such as the Holocaust, the Boxing Day tsunami or hurricane Katrina.
You might wonder what these diverse events have to do with Exmouth, but it was exactly 40 years ago at this time that the Imperial Hotel fire took place, inflicting loss of life and adversely effecting the lives of umpteen innocents.
When a tragedy occurs, great or small, the victims are not just confined to the deceased or injured, but extend far beyond those unfortunates.
They might include the rescue services, any witnesses, the mentally frail, or the psychologically vulnerable; amongst a vast array of others on the periphery.
At the time of the fire, I happened to be staying at a flat across the road from the disaster leaving me permanently emotionally crippled despite sustained psychiatric intervention.
However, to come back to my original point, my purpose in writing is to reiterate to your readers that a simple savage cross on a barren hillside and an empty tomb is proof of my salvation, no matter what suffering and adversity is hurled at me.
What is your shelter from the storm?
Perhaps, the sacrifice of a chocolate bar or two is not so much of a Lenten burden.
Burnside Withycombe Raleigh