The concept of a Memorial for those Men who have been killed whilst working in the Tasmanian Forests was the inspiration of the late Mr. Peter Bennett of Geeveston.
Peter recognised that it is a very sad fact and a real tragedy that since accurate records have been kept from 1955, over 90 men have lost their lives whilst deriving a living in the Tasmanian Forest Industry.
Considering the industry started virtually at settlement in Tasmania, around 1840, one hundred and fifteen years earlier, the numbers of deaths could be quite staggering.
Peter brought the idea forward at a meeting of the Geeveston Streetscape Reference Group during late 2007.
The concept was supported by Tasmania’s Forest Town Geeveston, and a sub-committee was formed to manage the project.
(copied from the Minutes of February 20th 2008)
The sub-committee comprised of Peter Bennett, Dr Dick Geeves, Robert Orr and Charles Rich and co opted Peter Pepper from Forestry Tasmania to assist.
• That the concept of a forest memorial should be supported.
• That the memorial be called the ‘Tasmania Forest Workers Memorial’.
• That the memorial be Tasmania wide and cover all events since the commencement of British Settlement.
• That the general guideline for eligibility, without precluding others who may be considered worthy of inclusion should be:
“Those persons who were deriving a living from the forests at the time of their death by accident”.
“That Geeveston is the most appropriate place to site such a memorial because it is known as the Forest Town”.
“That Heritage Park – in among the ponds (old tennis court area where a copse of trees currently exists) – is the most appropriate location for the memorial”.
“That the memorial be constructed of decorative coloured concrete material. To be of different shaped structures within the trees” (possibly representing different periods of time).
During the past thirteen years there have been two mayor industry sponsors, Forestry Tasmania (STT) and Duggan’s Constructions from Cradoc. Some support In-Kind was received from the Huon Valley Council. Other sponsor includes the Huon Aquaculture Company, The Bendigo Community Bank and the former Tasmanian Forest Festival Committee.
The Memorial was subsequently opened during late November of 2009 by the Governor of Tasmania, the Honourable Peter Underwood.
There are currently thirty-six plaques on the Memorial, representing 38 men, who have lost their lives whilst deriving their living from the Forest of Tasmania.
The Memorial is situated in Heritage Park, in a beautiful corpse of trees with two ponds nearby.
The Management Committee of the Memorial is a Special Committee of the Huon Valley Council, and is made up of Charles Rich Chairman, Dr. Dick Geeves, Andrew Burgess, Ross Ashlin, Terry Ware, and Peter Pepper as Secretary/Treasurer.
The Tasmanian Forest Memorial committee’s greatest task is to make sure that those families, who have lost loved ones whilst working in the industry, know that they can commemorate the memory of those loved ones at the Tasmanian Forest Workers Memorial in Tasmania’s Forest Town at Heritage Park in Geeveston.
Please feel free to contact me if there are questions or families who would like a relative commemorated on the Tasmanian Forest Workers Memorial.
Secretary / Treasurer
TASMANIAN FOREST WORKERS MEMORIAL
C/- 9 Doctor Dicks Drive
PORT HUON TASMANIA 7116
Mobile 0438 373 718
Web Address: https://www.geevestontasmania.com/forest-worker-memorial
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