Published March 10, 2023
A MEMORIAL concept to remember the life of Cassius Turvey has been approved by the City of Swan and two dates have been set for its unveiling at Weeip Park.
Following a motion put forward in December by councillor Cate McCullough for a commemorative space to remember the 15-year-old, Cassius’ mother Mechelle Turvey has worked with the city’s reconciliation action plan advisory group (RAPAG) to discuss location and memorial concept options.
At Wednesday night’s council meeting staff recommended that council endorse the installation of a sign with specific wording chosen by Cassius’ family members, a community event to unveil the concept as part of Harmony Week on March 21 and a second event to unveil the final installation at Weeip Park.
In an argument against the recommendation, councillor Aaron Bowman questioned the cost of the memorial estimated at $30,000.
“The report states that the cost of $30,000 of which $2400 if for signage and design, the rest being $27,850 is the construction of the sign and installation,” he said.
“I asked for a breakdown of these two costs which staff now advise since the agenda forum they have a quote for $9300 for the sign, what is the estimated installation cost?
“Staff have now advised they are confident the cost will be significantly below $30,000, what is actually being requested?... the cost of the sign installing seems overpriced.”
Cr Bowman also grilled the suitability of the concept design itself.
“The sign on page 68 does not provide the appropriate respect as it to me looks like just another sign that is used to name parks which is evident from the example provided.
“Where is the remembrance and reflection space which I thought was wanted, surely we can do better.”
In her right of reply Cr McCullough hammered home that the concept was to be decided on by Ms Turvey, her family and Elders with the RAPAG.
“My motion was that the city’s RAPAG work with Mechelle Turvey, it was her request that they would liase with her in memory of Cassius and look at what was the priority and what was of ultimate significance to Cassius,” she said.
“Mechelle felt as a mother of Cassius she knew what he would want and what would be of greater benefit to the community and her vision for the young people he played with, worked with and had grown up with.”
The staff recommendation was carried 10 - 5.