Bunbury memorial to honour babies

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Catholic Women’s League treasurer Jan Batt, president Peta Thompson and secretary Cheryl Norrish, all from the Miscarried Baby Memorial project, overlook the future site of the miscarriage memorial.
Camera IconCatholic Women’s League treasurer Jan Batt, president Peta Thompson and secretary Cheryl Norrish, all from the Miscarried Baby Memorial project, overlook the future site of the miscarriage memorial. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

A group of women who have been impacted by miscarriage will help others come to terms with their own loss by erecting a memorial at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Project secretary Jan Batt said the idea came about after the group discovered there was a similar memorial in Tasmania.

“Miscarriage occurs more frequently than we realised ... one in four pregnancies don’t go to full term,” she said.

“There is nothing in Bunbury relating to miscarried babies, so that is why we decided to give this a go.

“We have had a lot of responses and everybody had a story to tell us about their own miscarriage or someone in their family.”

By having a sculpture in a quiet, calm and private place, the group hopes to provide a place for people who have gone through a miscarriage to contemplate their loss.

The group has been in talks with respected sculptors Charlie and Joan Walsh-Smith, who created the Sydney HMAS memorial in Geraldton.

“We never see, hold or watch these babies grow. We never see their gifts or take joy in their achievements,” Ms Batt said.

“By having this special space in the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral for this memorial, we will be able to visually acknowledge our babies, who will always hold a very special place in our hearts.”

The group is endeavouring to raise $20,000 through donations from businesses, organisations or individuals.

“In many firms there will be employees who have experienced a miscarriage or infant loss who would appreciate awareness and understanding in their time of heartbreak and need,” Ms Batt said.

“Especially if their partner is fly in fly out or they are living away from family and friends.

As part of the memorial, the group would like to raise awareness of free support services available at Pregnancy Assistance in Spencer Street.

The group plans to sign contracts by February and host the dedication ceremony in September 2019.

Call 0400 025 137 to help.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails