Nothing grave about memorials
By MARY MANN
A ROCK with a memorial plaque on it offensive or touching? You decide.
Ballina Shire Council wants to stop people erecting memorials in public parks and reserves unless they are of historical significance.
The council fears too many memorials will turn its reserves into 'pseudo-graveyards' and offend other members of the community.
But when The Northern Star spoke to locals yesterday, most thought the idea of the pseudo-graveyards was ridiculous.
"I've seen them around the place and I am in no way offended by them," Arthur Reddel, of East Ballina, said.
"I think they're informative, and they can tell you a bit about the person."
Jaimee Wheatley, of Ballina, said a close friend of hers had passed away in Western Australia before she moved to Ballina about a year ago.
"There was a memorial made for her on the beach, it was massive and the community even donated money towards it," she said.
"Everyone is important to someone, so restricting the memorials to significant people or historical events isn't good."
Plaque memorials such as one on Skennars Head, which is decorated with flowers, a photo and plastic sea creatures can be spotted throughout the shire, reminding us of community members who have died.
Cr Peter Moore said they helped to build a sense of community and that he would push to have the council's draft monuments and memorials policy amended.
He said anyone should be allowed to erect a memorial to a loved one who had died. "People are not erecting them to ruin the amenity," he said.
However Cr John Felsch disagreed and said our reserves were not intended to become memorial pseudo-graveyards.
The draft policy also covers roadside memorials, which are permitted as long as they are safe. View the draft policy from Thursday at www.ballina.nsw.gov.au