Golf Club continues talks over crash memorial

February 16, 2021
Grant Jones
An artist’s impression of a proposed memorial submitted to Oatlands Golf Club.

The Oatlands Golf Club will continue discussions with the Abdallah family over plans to have a memorial erected to four children killed at the Western Sydney site a year ago.

Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony Abdallah, 13, and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, died after being hit by a car in February last year. The families wished to erect a permanent memorial to honour their deaths at location where the bodies were found.

“The club is sympathetic to the tragedy and the impact the crash has had on the Abdallah and Sakr families,” Mr Howe told Newscorp.

“We are also disappointed with how the club has been misrepresented in the media during the past week. We hope to have the opportunity to continue the respectful discussions we have had with the Abdallah family.”

The club’s board was due to meet at the end of February but may call an extraordinary meeting before then to discuss the memorial.

Parramatta council has offered to cover the cost of public indemnity insurance over the small parcel of land that encroaches five metres near the 12th hole.

“The Council has agreed to lease, design, build, maintain and insure the land and commemorative garden in memory of the four little angels that we lost that day,” council said.

The club said it had received a proposal in August, via local Liberal MP Geoff Lee who had instructed Parramatta council to draw up plans for “four small memorial stones that are no greater than 350mm x 400mm and surrounded by low grass, such as mondo grass”.

The club said it was open to a memorial on its land provided there were only four stone plinths no larger than 50cm high and 40cm wide, in accordance with specifications for roadside memorials set down by Roads and Maritime Services.

The club’s board reportedly dismissed the proposed designs without consulting members, with the report adding that the dimensions of the two submitted designs were different from those originally agreed upon.

Parramatta council said leasing the memorial space from the club was also an option. The Abdallah family also offered to sponsor 40 golf scholarships at the club as a show of good faith.

“Approving and actioning this proposal I believe will be a message of peace, love and forgiveness to our neighbours, family and friends,” Mr Abdallah wrote in a letter to the golf club. “It will finally bring some closure to all who have been affected by this tragedy within our caring Oatlands community.

“I visit the site regularly to reflect and pray and although I would have loved something more, I appreciate the land is private property and do not want to overly intrude on its use.

“I have been assured that the proposed design will not in any way adversely impact on members interests or the playability of the golf course.

“My hope is that early in the new year we can remove the makeshift memorial for my children including the photos, table, chair and relics and replace it with a peaceful and serene garden for the local morning or evening walker to stop by as they currently do and have a quiet moment.

“Where possible, my family and community have attempted to create some ‘good’ out of this tragedy.”


Tags

Abdallah Family, children killed, Oatlands accident, Oatlands Golf Club, Oatlands Memorial


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