Memorial to honour those lost in cyclone
MORE than 46 years after Cyclone Ada took the lives of 14 locals, the region could honour them with a permanent memorial.
With a motion passing through Whitsunday Regional Council last week, the park adjacent to Snows Beach in Shute Harbour has been slated as the memo- rial site.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has been pushing for a memorial for many years, including a a letter to the council in April.
“It’s been a long time coming, but better late than never,” Mr Costigan said.
“I’m sure the families of the victims will appreciate the gesture to have a place they can go and pay tribute and honour their loved ones who were lost in this terrible disaster all those years ago.”
Hitting the region late on Saturday, January 17, 1970, Ada brought damaging winds and flooding.
Weakening by Monday, January 19, Ada had already left an indelible mark on the region.
An unofficial ceremony was held at Shute Harbour this year, with locals throwing wreaths into the water in honour of the lives lost.
Mr Costigan said that at a funeral just weeks prior to the motion he had chatted with a family friend who had lost his wife during the cyclone, assuring him he would work towards a memorial.
“He knew my grandfather from the old pioneering days and I assured him at that funeral that I would continue to work towards the construction of a memorial and indicated that I had reiterated my support for the concept to my local government colleagues,” he said.
“So I’m very pleased with the outcome of this particular meeting.”
Deputy mayor John Collins shared his personal connection to Cyclone Ada, explaining his family “never saw Dad for the whole week” as the policeman had worked to see the region back on its feet.
“I agree with the local member for a change,” Cr Collins said.
“It’s well overdue,” he said.
NOT FORGOTTEN: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan lays a wreath in Shute Harbour to mark the 46th anniversary of Cyclone Ada.