Memo­rial to hon­our those lost in cy­clone

Whitsunday Times - - CYCLONE ADA -

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.

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