22nd March, 2020 marks 60 years since the tragedy of a school bus and train colliding at the Liddiard Road level crossing in Traralgon that rocked the core of our community.
This terrible accident claimed the lives of six school children and the bus driver and memories are still etched in the minds of many bereaved families, survivors and those who assisted during and after this event.
The deceased included:
• 12 year old Margaret Hayes of Traralgon
• 11 year old John Leslie of Willung South
• 14 year old Marie Windridge of Cowwarr
• 11 year old Richard Flewin of Gormandale
• 10 year old John Warburton and his 8 year old sister Jane
• Bus driver 35 year old William Todd
Five of the six school children are at rest at Gippsland Memorial Park and a project has been underway behind the scenes to restore the headstone dedicated to these children and the grave site itself.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said he has been honoured to be involved in the project along with members of Gippsland Memorial Park, Traralgon Historical Society, St Michaels Primary School and community members including Bob Taylor who has been a passionate driving force of the project.
This horrendous event made front page news around the country at the time and one can only contemplate the heartache that many families had felt during this time. Some of the absolute horror of the circumstances was captured by then local Doctor in Dr Charles Bridges-Webb who scribed the story “When Good Families Meet Tragedy”. See attachment – School Bus Rail Crossing Information- 1960 (004)
A rededication of the headstone and grave site will occur at Gippsland Memorial Park on Sunday 22nd March 2020 at 2pm. Bereaved family members, survivors and community members are welcome to attend.
For further information please contact Gippsland Memorial Park on (03) 5174 9071.