Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Day the Bombs went off in Perth

Perth is generally a peaceful place, essentially no terrorism or serious violence - apart from a few examples like an rogue M113 APC once driven through the city, or a crazy with a rifle in an office block one time.

But there was one occasion when a series of bombs went off in Scarborough, and they never even caught the culprit. The date was 29th August 1985, and it was quite bad day for me.

Firstly I had a car accident - I was driving south at about 50km/h along a minor road in North Perth, when suddenly Bang! I experienced an almighty crash of noise and pain. After a moment I recovered with a painful head and right knee to find myself stationary and facing north! With another damaged car nearby. The driver had gone straight through a stop sign and collided with my right hand side, causing my car to swing around a full 180 degrees and come to a halt. She was not much hurt herself, but distraught and worried - worried, that is, for what her boyfriend would say about her ruining his car! She didn't give a damn about me or my car though, and my un-insured clunker was a write-off.
Anyway - later that night I went to bed nursing a headache and a sore knee - in my flat right opposite the construction site for the new Observation City hotel that Alan Bond was building in Scarborough.

Then about 1:20am in the morning there was an almighty explosion! I've heard explosions before - this was not a truck crash, not a sudden weather event, but a high-pressure explosion nearby. Instantly awake I lay silently in bed thinking "WT? was that!". There was complete and utter, and very pregnant, silence - I could sense the entire neighbourhood was awake and listening and wondering what was happening.

Some unknown few seconds later, another huge explosion shook the building, and I heard my lounge-room window shatter and spray shards of glass all over the room. I was already feeling pretty sore and abused, so I decided this was bad day worth ignoring - and I just put my pillow over my head and went back to a fitful sleep.

It turned out that someone was unhappy with the new high-rise development right on the beach at Scarborough and had attempted to bring down the construction crane with 3 bombs placed against it's legs. Luckily it failed, and the crane remained standing, although the area was evacuated while it was checked out. To this day, no-one knows who did it.

Next morning I got up early to see my main room covered in glass fragments, and a gaping broken window. Just then, there was a knock on the door. I was surprised, not expecting anyone, and I opened my door to see a glazier standing there! He immediately saw the glass and said "Ah - can I fix all that for you sir?". "Um, sure", I replied. So he came in, swept up all the glass, quickly and expertly fixed my window, then left with a cheery "bye now."

I had no idea who sent him - but now I assume it was Bondy and his lawyers being pro-active. Perhaps I should have said "Ow, my head hurts from the explosion" :-)

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