The donor remembers his grandfather, father and uncle cutting timber on the family's Strathewen property, using the crosscut saw from which this blade came. The timber was milled on site and over the years was used to build or maintain well-known buildings around Strathewen: the community hall, Strathewen Primary School, the guest house Singing Waters, and the Arthurs Creek CFA station. Of all these buildings, only the Arthurs Creek station survived the bushfires of Black Saturday, 7 February 2009.

The saw was kept in the shed of the old farmhouse in Strathewen, one of many objects no longer in use but still too good to throw out. The homestead and its outbuildings also burned on Black Saturday. Ian McKimmie, a descendant of the original settlers, retrieved the saw blade from the ruins and included it in the objects he hung from a burned tree stump on the family property. In doing so he was creating a private memorial to the bushfires of Black Saturday, but also to the generations of his family who had lived and farmed in the area for over 150 years.

Physical Description

Blade from cross-cut saw with single toothed edge, burned and corroded. There is a sprocket for a handle on one end, and holes for a sprocket on the other.


After the bushfires of Black Saturday many people created informal memorials out of burned objects. They mark the destruction of homes and the loss of lives, but they also express resilience and a need to create something meaningful out of the devastation. Where other people created mosaics or sculptures, Ian McKimmie assembled burned objects that evoked the farming past of his family in Strathewen, paying tribute to generations who had harvested the trees, farmed the land and fought earlier fires.

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