The Grafton Fertility Support Group wants to establish a memorial for families who have experienced infant loss.
The Grafton Fertility Support Group wants to establish a memorial for families who have experienced infant loss.

Infant loss group seeking support

A CLARENCE Valley group, formed to offer support to families who have experienced infant loss, is hoping to get community support for the construction of a memorial.

Memorials have been set up in a number of other centres and Grafton Fertility Support Group facilitator, Chris Davis, wants to see something similar established in the Clarence.

The exact form and certainly the location of any Clarence Valley tranquillity garden or memorial wall to lost children is still a matter for negotiation.

First the Support Group has to win the support of Clarence Valley Council, which must give the approvals necessary for any such proposal to go ahead.

For now it is a case of marshalling ideas and formulating a definite plan to be put to council, hopefully backed by a strong community groundswell in favour of the project.

One thing group members are sure of is the local need for such a place – a need that is already being met in many other communities.

Lismore has a dedicated area within its cemetery with a statue as a memorial to the nameless babies buried within the precinct.

Sandgate has a Garden of the Innocents, a memorial area established under the aegis of the local Rotary Club, where dedicated plaques are placed in memory of lost children.

Clarence Support Group members believe a cemetery – with its inevitable aura of death and grieving – is not the most auspicious site for a tranquillity garden or memorial wall of the kind they envisage.

“We don’t want a negative, sad site, we want something where people can experience a sense of calm, where other family members might go for a picnic or barbecue,” Chris said.

“We want to strike a balance between life going on and not forgetting the child who is not there. This would be a very special space to remember any child who has been lost, at any stage of life.”

What the group needs now is to hear from people who support the idea of a tranquillity garden, who might use it or who have special skills that could help the planners come up with definite proposals to put before council.

Ideally the Support Group would like to have the garden of tranquillity established by October 15, so its third Remembrance Ceremony can be held there.

“Several sites have already been suggested, but members of the public might well come up with something more suitable. Funding will be needed and perhaps some community group might help in this regard,” Chris said.

Those wishing to lend moral or tangible support to the garden of tranquillity proposal should contact Chris Davis on 6642 2360 or mobile 0412 886 942.



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