Middle Beach memorial marks pioneers

IF you’ve ever wondered about the story behind the Middle Beach Memorial Garden, here it is.

In late 2008, resident Audrey Hart made the suggestion for a plaque to be resurrected to recognise and honour the now-deceased residents of the seaside township.

“I thought it was a good idea to remember those who were the first to live at Middle Beach,” she said.

The proposal was put forward at the 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Middle Beach Boat Owners and Progress Club and members voted unanimously in favour.

The idea was then put to the District Council of Mallala, and a small section of coast next to the southernmost beach house on the foreshore was awarded.

John Drexel explained the process and said the original cost was $600.

“We selected a two-tonne black granite boulder, quarried from Black Hill near Cambrai on the western Murray Plains and arranged for a large flat face to be sawn onto it,” Mr Drexel said.

Local resident Nick Pettifor then transported the two parts of the boulder in 2010, with the larger piece being placed in the garden and the other adjacent to the new boat ramp, commemorating the opening in September 2010.

During 2010 and 2011 Mrs Hart, along with fellow Middle Beach residents Bev Thomas, Ashley Pratt and Win Hatherly, worked on compiling a list of names of deceased residents, beach house owners and those whose ashes had been scattered at the beach.

“The initial number totalled around 60, but soon swelled to 85,” Mr Drexel said.

“Finding the names was not overly difficult, online casino but finding the exact birth date and death dates was.

“After an exhausting search, it was resolved to just record the information available, even if some of the dates were missing.”

Eighty-five stainless steel plaques were then prepared and glued to the rock by Cheryl Fittock, her grandson Eric and Mr Drexel in late 2013.

Middle Beach resident Daniel Fuary then assisted with placing the rocks leftover from construction of the ramp abutments as an edging to the memorial and native plants were secured to ensure a blend in nature.

“Suitable coastal native plants were obtained from the NRM Board by Warrick Barnes and planted in May 2014, and Val and Roy Packer from Two Wells volunteered to router the name Middle Beach Memorial Garden into a wooden sign to complete the garden,” Mr Drexel explained.

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