Maureen Nathan's vision for the Original Gold Rush Colony abruptly came to an end when fire swept through the facility on New Year's Eve.
Over 20 years, the Mogo facility was a community centre for many; it had been used as an after-school centre and was a home for many clubs, including Eurobodalla Woodies, Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association, spinners, singing groups and the lapidary club.
It was a place of employment and rehabilitation for many disadvantaged people: "It has lost a place where we have rehabilitated people into the workforce," she said.
"All of this was a way of proving that everybody can do something and you've just got to provide the framework."
Invaluable historical items were destroyed by the flames.
Ms Nathan, who is also a Eurobodalla Shire Councillor, said more than 6000 school students would stay overnight at the facility, plus many more attended the centre on excursions.
At least 20,000 people would have walked through the doors each year.
"The greater education community has lost a historical experience," she said.
On New Year's Eve, the facility's team woke up at 4.30am and evacuated everyone at the park by 5.45am.
Despite the facility's outdoors manager and tour guide, and Mogo RFS firefighter, Corey Peterson, putting out embers, the flames turned the buildings to rubble.
Ms Nathan said Mr Peterson and the site's manager Georgina Jackson were the "strength of the place" and "shared my vision for what the Gold Rush Colony was".
"My team put their hearts and souls into it," she said.
Ms Nathan saw the "trajectory" for the Clyde Mountain fire and knew it would hit her beloved facility.
The blaze took out several other businesses in Mogo including the Mogo Aboriginal Lands Council, Merchant of Mogo and Mogo Pottery.
It took out the residences of two staff members, and many others in Mogo.
"We would be bloody lucky to not have the fire hit us," she said.
So, she was mentally prepared when a staff member told her, face-to-face, it was gutted.
A "pragmatic" woman, Ms Nathan "knew we had to get through all of this".
It was when she saw a tribute video on the facility's website on January 6 that she broke down.
"Half-way through that was when I just collapsed," she said.
"I had breakfast, watched it again, had another cry, and now I just get a little bit teary."
She said more clearing and hazard reduction should be allowed, and change was needed on "all levels of policy" to prevent this level of disaster.
Farmers who wanted to backburn or people whose homes in overgrown bushland not allowed to clear the forest floor were "over-governed".
"I am beyond angry," she said.
"There are policies that have been put in place during my lifetime that has made these fires inevitable at the ferocity they are."
She had praise for North Batemans Bay insurance broker Brett McDonald who, "in the middle of protecting his own home, was making sure his clients were looked after as soon as possible".
She said the fires were devastating for everyone.
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