Only four memorial plaques met with City of Joondalup approval

The plaque for Wanneroo councillor Norma Rundle.
The plaque for Wanneroo councillor Norma Rundle.

THE City of Joondalup has approved four memorial plaques from 30 requests in the past five years.

In 2010, a memorial bench and plaque was approved for Ethel Margaret (Dinky) Goble-Garrett and installed in Carnaby Reserve in Connolly.

Ms Goble-Garratt worked as a consultant for Main Roads WA and provided advice on the environmental aspects of the Mitchell Freeway extension, reducing the effect on natural vegetation and helping to improve and protect Carnaby Reserve. She also worked with Connolly Primary School students.

A plaque for Hillarys resident Christopher McBride was approved in 2011 and installed on an existing bench seat inside the shelter next to Ozone Road in Marmion.

He helped initiate the defensive driving course for drivers under 25 and spoke to Year 11 and 12 students about losing a child in a road accident to encourage them to be more careful.

He also liaised with State Government ministers and officers as part of a campaign to reduce the number of young deaths on the road.

The City approved a plaque on a plinth for Padbury resident Norma Rundle in 2013, which was installed at the entrance to the Hepburn Heights conservation area in Padbury.

Mrs Rundle was a City of Wanneroo councillor and is remembered for her work in conserving Hepburn Heights bushland reserve.

Also in 2013, a plaque for Rhona Johnson was approved and installed on a bench seat in Sorrento’s Harman Park.

Ms Johnson was the first co-ordinator of the Friends of Harman Park and remained in the role from 2002 to 2011, coordinating community work at the park and contributing to the upkeep of the area.

Joondalup chief executive Garry Hunt said the four permanent memorials were in line with the City’s Memorial in Public Reserves policy.

He said the policy acknowledged memorials were a way to help people grieve and honour past contributions but that memorials in public spaces needed to be managed to “maintain local amenity, ensure the safety of residents and minimise maintenance requirements”.

“It is the City’s position that persons are encouraged to install memorials within designated memorial facilities such as cemeteries,” he said.

“However, applications for the installation of memorials in public reserves within the City may be considered in accordance with the conditions of the policy.”

He said the policy provided for temporary memorials to be installed for people who had died in tragic circumstances.

“Temporary memorials permit items such as flowers, crosses, toys and notes to be placed on a site for a period of up to six months after approval by the City’s chief executive,” he said.

Annica Odina, who has submitted a 947-signature petition to the City of Joondalup to install a plaque in memory of her 24-year-old son Daniel, said people did not want to use cemeteries to install memorials. “I don’t want to be reminded that Daniel is dead,” she said.

“I know every day when he doesn’t come home, when he’s not sitting down to dinner with us, when he doesn’t call me.

“Daniel found joy and solace on the beach; that’s what we want to be reminded of when we come to pay our respects to his memory.”

Mrs Odina said she hoped councillors at Monday 23/11 night’s meeting would grant her request but also review the policy.

“The practice of tying the worthiness of a life to the person’s community contributions is archaic and elitist,” she said.

“To put grieving families and friends through a petition and hearing process at a time of immense distress seems inhumane and totally unnecessary.

“I hope in future no one else will have to go through the agony my family, I and Daniel’s friends have.”

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