“We wanted to stay marooned!”

Most St Francis Bay residents are celebrating tonight as the temporary bridge for vehicular traffic over the SandRiver  was completed around 6 pm tonight. But I hear some are actually drowning their sorrows as they wanted to stay marooned!

Excited motorists cheered and waved as they crossed the river in either direction this evening. For many it was a chance to get home, having been almost completely stranded for more than 24 hours. Their cars were stuck on one of the sides of the big gaping hole that used to house the old Sand River bridge and no buses or taxis could enter the area.  A footbridge was erected temporarily last night to allow people to walk across instead of wading across icy waters.

The bridge was washed away yesterday after storm waters that had run down from the wetlands near Oyster Bay collected  in the Links dams. (see original post: https://stfrancischronicle.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/motorists-stranded-as-sand-river-bridge-is-demolished/ )

But for those residents who wished the area could have remained an island they are now lamenting that their short lived hopes and dreams could not become a reality… For them it was a chance to have a Republic of St Francis!

“We can become independent”;  “We can stop Thyspunt and the wind farms!”;  “There will be less crime and dangerous criminals will be kept out.!” were the most popular comments posted either on Facebook or that I heard in the village during the last day.

Though some questioned the ‘new republicans’ logic as they had no other apparent escape route and what would they do about food etc?  But the ideas tossed around jovially by the ‘independents’ in pubs offered many possibilities.

For one, St Francis was actually given a new name: ‘Ile de St Francis’. Then there was talk in some pubs, I believe, of ferries doing trips up the coast to JBay or PE … “and the boating trade will pick up very nicely,” said one permanent member of the old guard…

But tonight while quietly quaffing a pint or two the republicans can only dream sadly on of what might have been…

By Bev Mortimer

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