Hobart and Clarence unveil places of reflection to commemorate Tasman Bridge disaster

The cities of Hobart and Clarence have today unveiled places of reflection, housing identical memorial plaques, commemorating the collapse of the Tasman Bridge.

The two Councils partnered in a memorial event last year to mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster and in further recognition of the tragedy, have again partnered to create lasting memorials on both sides of the bridge.

On Sunday 5 January 1975 at 9.27pm the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra collided with the Tasman Bridge. Twelve people tragically lost their lives that night, including five Tasmanians.

The Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Sue Hickey said the Tasman Bridge disaster is an event that many Tasmanians, particularly the communities of Clarence and Hobart, still have strong and lasting memories of.

“This was a significant event in the history of Hobart and Clarence that shaped the way in which our cities relate to each other and have grown and developed over the last four decades.

“I am so pleased that both Councils have come together once again to create something special to forever remember the people who tragically lost their lives,” said Lord Mayor Hickey.

The City of Hobart’s newly developed place of reflection, located on the western side of the Tasman Highway, offers a perspective of the bridge and incorporates a sitting-wall, tree and interpretative panel giving a history of the event.

The Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman said: “The site on the Clarence foreshore at Montagu Bay was chosen because it has a clear view of the bridge spans which fell in 1975 and it is also nearby to the sculpture erected last year on the 40th anniversary of the Tasman Bridge collapse.”

“The places of reflection on both sides of the bridge will be a lasting reminder, a place to contemplate the tragedy and importantly, places for the families and the community to remember those who lost their lives,” said Mayor Chipman.

The memorial plaques, unveiled in two ceremonies attended by family members, include the names of people who were killed.

“An important component of the project was to identify surviving family members to consult them on the plans for the memorials and we are very pleased that some family members were able to join us at the unveilings,” said Mayor Chipman.

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