Bid to share service cost

Wreaths are laid each year at the Granville Memorial site where the names of the 83 victims are inscribed. In 2017 for the first time the unborn child of a pregnant woman who died in the crash was also acknowledged publicly for the first time.

Story appeared in: Review | June 8th, 2018

FUTURE Granville Train disaster memorial services will be managed by Cumberland Council under its Community Events budget, with councillors also voting to ask Parramatta Council to share the running costs.
Granville Train Disaster Association (GTDA) chairman and retired paramedic Barry Gobbe said that for 39 years, the annual service was run by a separate group known as the Memorial Trust but it was managed and funded by Parramatta City Council.
In 2016, the newly merged Cumberland Council advised the GTDA, which had just been formed, that while the council would manage the 40th anniversary service, they were reluctant to run future services.
While successfully applying for a $10,000 grant to run the 2018 service to cover public liability insurance and other associated costs, the GTDA had asked the council to take responsibility for future services.
One of the first paramedics to arrive at the scene of the disaster on January 18, 1977, Mr Gobbe wrote Revisiting the Granville Train Disaster of 1977, a book about the accident and its aftermath.
He told the Review that while he was relieved he isn't entirely happy for it to be classified as an 'event' by Cumberland, adding that the 150 to 200 people who attend the memorial each year were not invited as guests.
"On the day they just arrive to pay their respects and stand on Cumberland Council property," he said.
"The Granville Train Disaster Association was only set up to look after those affected by the disaster who to this day, still require some form of counselling.
"The service belongs not only to the local community, but it is looked at as a national day of mourning as it still remains, the worst rail disaster and loss of life post-war in Australian history."

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Publication: Review | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 137797 | Viewcount: 3431