Reflective space unveiled to commemorate 1967 bushfires

A REFLECTIVE space to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 bushfires has been established in Clarence.

Community members gathered at Percy Park in Rokeby on the anniversary of Black Tuesday to reflect on the devastation caused by the bushfires and to unveil the reflective space.

The space includes a bench seat with a commemorative plaque and an interpretation panel.

Five trees have also been planted in memory of the five members of the Clarence community who lost their lives during the fires.

The trees were watered by two local youth representatives to symbolise the community’s recognition of the devastation caused in the 1967 bushfires, the strength displayed in rebuilding from such destruction, and commitment to preventing such a catastrophe happening again.

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said it was fitting to have the site relocated in Rokeby.

“Of all the places in Clarence, Rokeby suffered the worst with no reticulated water or fire brigade,” he said.

“The community rallied together and 50-years on, Rokeby has been rebuilt.”

Mayor Chipman said the reflective space would serve as an important and lasting reminder of the 1967 bushfires and the need for vigilance and preparedness to prevent such a tragedy reoccurring.

“It will be a place to reflect and contemplate the tragedy and, importantly, remember those who lost their lives and homes,” he said.

Caption: Clarence Deputy Mayor Alderman Jock Campbell and locals Adrian Wood and Kaylee Oakes unveiling the interpretation panel.