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Richardson roadside shrine removed – Good or bad thing?

By johnboy - 31 May 2009 340

[First filed: May 29, 2009 @ 11:22]

At the end of March there was a double fatality on Clift Crescent in Richardson made particularly tragic by the youth of the victims Steven Rial, 20, and Megan Minney, 17.

The Canberra Times today reports that the roadside shrine which accreted at the scene of the accident has been removed by city rangers at the request of Roads ACT.

(Apparently the family were supposed to be consulted, but would we expect the ACT Government to get that right?)

In this post religious age are these shrines the only way forward for shared community grief? Or just an ugly eyesore? How long should they be tolerated?

I vaguely recall a plan for red and black roadside poles to symbolise crashes (red for injury, black for fatalities) but it seems that fell out of favour (perhaps for making it too easy for the public to see points of consistent failure in our roads?).

Your thoughts?

Roadside shrines

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UPDATED: The whole thing has taken an interesting twist with a very angry Facebook group forming, and (at the time of writing) 1,396 angry youngsters threatening to (amongst other things) burn down the house of the family who tried to save their friends lives:

    Cory Mckinnon wrote
    at 9:11pm on May 27th, 2009
    if they take it down… then we will just have to keep puttin it up untill they get it throgh there thick f***in heads… or mabye we should just burn there f***in house down

This morning saner voices are starting to be heard on the group’s wall and it appears a compromise has been reached for the cross to be placed across the road.

I’m personally intrigued by all the saloon bar lawyers angrily debating points of law invoking a local council of which I was previously unaware.

FURTHER UPDATE: The homeowner involved has weighed in with a comment I think deserves elevation from the comments section:

    #141 posted by homeowner
    (Newbie)
    11:39, 31 May 2009

    As I stated in my comment on facebook I thought I had an understanding with the father’s of both Meagan and Steve about all this but obviously not. I never once siad there could not be a memorial at all. I just didn’t want crosses and large photo’s of the kids that my family had to look at every day. We don’t need that. I said I would clean up dead flowers as needed and that they could even mount the plaques on the wall of my garden bed. After what our family has been through the last few days with people driving past blasting horns and yelling abuse that these people never have to experiance this. Thankyou to those that can at least understand my side of this even if no one else does.

Chin up homeowner. I think you’ll find the vast majority of the population is now on your side.

I’d like to suggest that readers who have teenagers make a careful check of the facebook group to make sure their little darlings aren’t involved. If you know someone with teenagers maybe pass the word on to them?

ANOTHER UPDATE: There is something I can do directly so here it goes. At 12 noon tomorrow, 1 June, I’m going to take down the names of all the members of the facebook group and record them here. Let googling future employers make of that what they will. Parents are well advised to do some parenting and the more thoughtful facebookers might want to reconsider their membership of what was well intentioned, but has turned into a lynch mob.

FINAL UPDATE: The matter of the facebook group now appears to have been resolved. You can read more about it here.

What’s Your opinion?


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340 Responses to
Richardson roadside shrine removed – Good or bad thing?
caf 12:04 pm 29 May 09

I don’t think it’d hurt to let people put a little permanent memorial stone in the ground, after the pile of flowers, cards etc is cleared away.

Ari 12:03 pm 29 May 09

p1 said :

I kinda meant something more specific, like, it’ll be cleaned up on Saturday, if you want anything get it by then.

The stuff was left at the Tuggeranong cop shop where they had the chance to take what they wanted.

Davo111 11:59 am 29 May 09

p1 said :

I am all for tasteful meaningful memorials. However those words mean different things to different people, and I am damn glad I don’t have to decide.

The sort of piles of flowers, cards, teddy bears, etc that appear in the days after an accident should be cleared away sooner or later, but the family really should get the chance to see if they want to keep any of it before it gets tossed though.

quoted for truth

oh and photos, i wouldn’t want photos of myself all over the roadside if i had died there.

p1 11:59 am 29 May 09

The family in this case did get the chance to keep the stuff.

This memorial is in a suburban street right next to houses. It’s been there for nine weeks…..

I kinda meant something more specific, like, it’ll be cleaned up on Saturday, if you want anything get it by then. Of course, the city rangers probably didn’t want to give that kind of warning unless Today Tonight was waiting with cameras to ask why they are desecrating peoples memories…

p1 11:56 am 29 May 09

There is a very nice one in Conder where a mother of several children was killed in a motorbike vs car accident several years ago now.

mystic.chic 11:53 am 29 May 09

i havent actually been past this area recently. is it on private property? or government land?.

I think in these times, it is not the ‘only’ way forward in the ways of grieving, but you have to ask the question – what harm is it causing?. Not only would it be providing the families with closure, but reminding others to be cautious on the roads.

“How long should they be tolerated?” begs an interesting question- who decides when it’s time to take down, or remove commemorative items of loved ones?. how does one dictate when to stop grieving, or acknowledgement of a tragic accident?

Ari 11:52 am 29 May 09

p1 said :

the family really should get the chance to see if they want to keep any of it before it gets tossed though.

The family in this case did get the chance to keep the stuff.

This memorial is in a suburban street right next to houses. It’s been there for nine weeks. Would you like to be quietly living somewhere with the wife and kids and then suddenly the tree outside your bedroom window gets turned into a death-cult shrine with young hoons dropping in at all hours to pay their “rispek”?

Granny 11:49 am 29 May 09

That was nice of them. The ones I’ve seen around Gungahlin don’t strike me as eyesores. They seem to have been well-maintained and quite pretty and garden-like. I do think about the young man when I walk past the little memorial on Mirrabei, and I think of his family too. I guess it’s kind of a sad feeling, but I like that people are being remembered. I think that’s one of the things that differentiates ‘community’ from ‘residency’.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:48 am 29 May 09

All of the above. After that, express your bogan pride graveside like everybody else. “Troye and Breetony were, loik, true Aussie champions when they got wasted and totally rolled the Falcon and killed a bunch of poiple.”

p1 11:47 am 29 May 09

ASIO?

Those interfering Owls!

Mr Evil 11:44 am 29 May 09

shanefos said :

Danman said :

At the new Crace roundabout on Gundaroo Road, they actually moved a monument including a tree to a spot on the side of the new roundabout.

They?

ASIO?

p1 11:42 am 29 May 09

“It Depends™”

I am all for tasteful meaningful memorials. However those words mean different things to different people, and I am damn glad I don’t have to decide.

The sort of piles of flowers, cards, teddy bears, etc that appear in the days after an accident should be cleared away sooner or later, but the family really should get the chance to see if they want to keep any of it before it gets tossed though.

shanefos 11:40 am 29 May 09

Danman said :

At the new Crace roundabout on Gundaroo Road, they actually moved a monument including a tree to a spot on the side of the new roundabout.

They?

Danman 11:35 am 29 May 09

At the new Crace roundabout on Gundaroo Road, they actually moved a monument including a tree to a spot on the side of the new roundabout.

Danman 11:34 am 29 May 09

It is my understanding that you must seek approval for monuments before erecting them.
If said monument was erected sans approval, its well within rights for removal.
Of course I am happy to be corrected

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