This is perhaps one of the more epic stories up here on the blog in more recent years. Matt and I were due to graduate on Tuesday 24th February 2015 – him for his Masters & me for my Grad Dip. I had gone down to Rockingham by train so that I could drive us up to Curtin to have our 10 seconds of fame for all the hard work we’ve put in. On the way down, there was impending chaos as there was a bushfire along the Kwinana near Anketell Road, causing the authorities to shutdown the Freeway from Armadale of Rowley Road to Mortimer Road, a pretty decent stretch & one of the main arteries in and out from the South metro area. On the train, I noticed a lot of people gasping & plenty of camera sounds. I looked up and no joke, I saw trees burning right by the side of the Freeway, with flames higher than the tree tops. The roads looked like a ghost town & by that stage, the fire had already jumped the Freeway to burn on the other side.
Our graduation ceremony started at 7pm and we were to be seated by 6.30pm for a video briefing. We left Rockingham at about 4pm, thinking we’d give it plenty of time for us to get through the traffic, given that the Freeway was closed where we needed to get on. Lo and behold, we had started driving & soon it became apparent that things were not looking good. We tried to get on to Stock Road, but traffic was really bad so we attempted to get on the Freeway on Thomas Road, given that either way we’d still be stuck. Got to Thomas Road and at the on ramp to the Freeway, there was a cop redirecting traffic as the Freeway was still closed. We got back on to Stock Road to try to give ourselves a fighting chance to get to our graduation. By the time 6pm came around, we hadn’t even reached Spearwood (20km from our initial starting point) & we had to call it quits as we were only halfway there. Both sides of the road were jam packed as far as the eye could see, we weren’t going to get out of there any time soon.
Turned around at that point & got to Phoenix to try to get some grub but all the back road were also congested & stopping to get food didn’t seem like such a good option as all the carparks were full. So back around to Rockingham we turned & we got to the local Maccas by 8.15pm. I needed to stretch my legs as they were cramped and my butt hurt from the 4 hour long drive. By the time we got back, my dad had messaged & said that the fireworks had come on after the graduation ceremony.
I must say I wasn’t too bothered about it all as it is my second degree and a Grad Dip. We’ve organised it so that we can go to the winter graduation ceremony mid-year. That’s probably a better option, given that the regalia is so thick & heavy, it’d be better suited to colder weather conditions teehee 🙂
What’s your graduation story?