As we look back over this challenging year, we can at least be grateful that our Memorial Ceremony was able to go ahead in November and that the sun shone on everyone present.
Gillian Aldridge, Mayor of the City of Salisbury, welcomed everyone to the ceremony. The Reverend Mark Baker offered a prayer and spoke of a friend who lost his life to asbestos related disease.
The speakers were The Hon Dennis Hood MLC (representing the Premier Steven Marshall and The Hon Rob Lucas MLC), Senator Penny Wong and Mr Peter Malinauskas, Leader of the Opposition. Dr Ash Hocking (from the Doug Henderson Research Foundation based at Flinders University) told us about the research being done to allow an early diagnosis of mesothelioma. Adelphie Stokes and Abigail Williams spoke movingly about their grandfather, Trevor Williams, and the effect on their family of losing him to mesothelioma.
Once again the Pipes & Drums of the Royal Caledonian Society of SA did us proud, playing Amazing Grace after the one minute's silence. Ella Sargeant, who also lost her grandfather Leo Ryan to mesothelioma, sang 'Angel' as family & friends laid flowers on their loved ones' crosses. This is such an emotional moment – lives lost needlessly to the scourge of asbestos.
President Peter Baxter and Vice President Maxine Williams thanked all who attended as well as the volunteers who keep AVA running. We also thank the hard working volunteers who arrive at the park in the early morning to set up the rows of crosses, and stay to take them down afterwards.
We thank all the politicians who attended and laid floral tributes. The flowers were collected afterwards and taken to the Tennyson Centre, to brighten the lives of staff and patients.
We are very grateful to all at Salisbury Council and in particular to Mayor Gillian Aldridge who once again gave us their full support and made this event run smoothly – Thank you!