Plans for Cyclone Ada memorial begin
LAST week marked the 47th anniversary of the land fall of Cyclone Ada in the Whitsundays.
The freak weather event tore through Hayman, South Molle and Long Islands, killing 14 people on January 17, 1970.
But unlike many other natural disasters that offer surviving victims and relatives of the dead a focal point for their grief, there is no such memorial to the victims of Cyclone Ada.
Gloria De Martini, who collated a book chronicling the stories of those who survived the cyclone, hoped that would soon change.
She said a small committee was in the process of being formed and members hoped to sit down with the Whitsunday Regional Council to discuss options for the planned memorial.
"We are trying to work with council to achieve this and recognise the 14 people that lost their lives,” she said.
Whitsunday Member of Parliament Jason Costigan had been advocating for the memorial for some time and believed it was important to the people of his electorate.
"More people died in Cyclone Ada than died in the Newcastle earthquake of 1989.
"You can go to Newcastle and see the plaque that remembers those lives lost but we have nothing in the Whitsundays for the biggest natural disaster since European settlement,” he said.
"It's a crying shame and I am hoping to change that.”
"It has taken a long time for some action and out of respect for the dead and the families of the deceased and the survivors we need to get something happening.”
Mr Costigan said he didn't know why it had taken so long to get a memorial built and said there needn't be a huge budget for the project.
"We are not talking sheep stations. The money is neither here nor there.
"You go to Darwin, there is a memorial for the victims of Cyclone Tracy. How there is not a memorial of any description for those that lost their lives ... beggars belief.”
"This is a community story and we need to have some closure here,” he said.