Flowers cast into the sea
Bay Post-Star
Wednesday, 16 October 2002

Rural Australians for Refugees will hold a silent vigil on Saturday to mark the day a boatload of people bound for Australia perished in the seas off Indonesia.

353 flowers will be cast into Batemans Bay in a symbolic gesture for every life lost on the boat the Australian government called the SIEV X.

A Senate inquiry continues to look into the tragedy which claimed over 100 children among those who drowned.

Instigator of the Eurobodalla branch of RAR, Ruth Beeren said it was important to commemorate these sombre events otherwise the situation may never change.

"If you don't bring these sad and desperate occasions for the public, they are very quickly forgotten," Ms Beeren said.

She said the symbolic nature of individually casting so many flowers into the sea will drive home the immensity of the tragedy.

"If you're actually doing something 353 times, it brings home that each one of those flowers is a person's life."

Ms Beeren encouraged members of the public to show their support for the plight of refugees trying to reach Australia by joining RAR members in the Town Park between Starfish Deli and The Innes Boatshed at 12 noon this Saturday.

"Those that can will wear life-jackets on the day and we will hold a silent vigil while casting the flowers into the sea."

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