Commemoration Gathering 7th February 2012
Strathewen residents, their families and friends came together at the Recreation Reserve Pavilion for the third anniversary of the 7th February 2009 Bushfires. The community gathered for the first time on the actual date for a twilight event.
Those attending were able to see displays of the proposed design for the new Strathewen Memorial and branches from the Blacksmith’s Tree.
The community spent time together socialising before making their way to the memorial site which was a short walk from the pavilion. Steve Pascoe the Chair of the Memorial Working Group, spoke about the proposed design, its symbolism and what it would mean to the community in the future. The design and a strong sense of connectedness was emphasised with everyone standing in a large circle.
Steve then asked Maddison Bartlett to come forward and turn the first soil on the memorial site and lay a wreath on behalf of the community.
Malcolm Hackett spoke about Strathewen’s loss and our need to remember loved ones in particular. As a mark of respect the names of those lost were read and one minute of silence followed. Malcolm then invited the community to stay on and continue socialising over a light supper which many did.
At 8:30pm Celeste Geer’s film “Then the Wind Changed” was shown at the pavilion for anyone who wished to see it. A group of about twenty people took up the opportunity.
This saw the end to a successful day. Approximately 350 people attended the event showing their care and interest for each other and for those we had lost in 2009.
The Strathewen Community Renewal Association wishes to thank everyone who participated and those who helped with organisation. Thanks to Arterial Design and Amanda Gibson for their displays. Our special thanks to Maddison Bartlett for wielding the shovel on the day.
We all look forward to seeing the memorial develop from here.
Diana Robertson for the Strathewen Community Renewal Association