A Christmas miracle has been delivered to Don and Catherine Tetley, who lost their home in the devastating Tathra bushfire.
The Channel Seven Sunrise crew set up a surprise reveal of gifts for the Tetleys at the Tathra Beach Bowling Club on Thursday, December 6.
The Sunrise crew had interviewed the Tetleys all morning, to share their story and their relationship with disaster relief crew Team Rubicon.
After the fires had swept through Tathra, Team Rubicon helped 126 different families. The crew had used the Tathra Beach Bowling Club as their base of operations.
Team Rubicon was approached by Sunrise to choose a family to receive $10,000 worth of gifts from Amazon.
Team Rubicon CEO Geoff Evans said, “the Tetleys are such gracious, humble and lovely people,” and had touched their hearts.
Two days after the disaster, Mr Evans was determined to gather the team to find Mrs Tetley’s father and grandfather’s war medals.
“Catherine mentioned her father’s war medals had been missing, she hadn’t asked us about her wedding rings or anything,” Mr Evans said.
“We spent a couple of days sifting through the ashes to find the things that were precious to her.”
Mr Evans said 80 per cent of Team Rubicon are war veterans. When he approached the team to share news of Mrs Tetley’s missing sentiments he said, “everyone started moving to the door to start looking”.
Unfortunately, Mrs Tetley said the medals were unable to be retrieved but her grandfather’s and father’s badges were found.
“Sometimes the wives were sent this part of the badge with the stars and the bar across the bottom if they had lost their husbands at war,” Mrs Tetley said.
Happy to have recovered the badges, Mrs Tetley said she was most appreciative of Team Rubicon’s long-term support.
“As a team, Rubicon work tirelessly, lovingly, and are so caring – I have adopted them.
“I said to Geoff, ‘I don’t know what I am going to do when you guys go’, and he replied ‘we won’t be far, we will keep in touch’.
“And we will keep in touch, with all of them,” she said.
Mrs Tetley said Christmas this year was looking bleak, with no Christmas decorations she said it had been difficult to get in the spirit.
The emotional roller coaster has continued for the Tetleys, although this time on a high as a Christmas tree with presents, family and members of the community were revealed behind a fire truck.
Lost for words, Mr and Mrs Tetley instantly teared-up as they couldn’t comprehend the generosity.