HISTORIC BACKGROUND OF THE BABIES OF WALLOON
The Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park provides a fitting location for the establishment of a memorial to Bridget and Mary Jane Broderick (aged six and nine), And as a commemorative of the literary works of Henry Lawson. “The babies of Walloon” was written by Henry Lawson in 1891. It tells the true story of two little girls, the daughters of a length man on the railway at Walloon, Queensland. The girls were sent one an errand by their parents and were supposedly attracted by some water-lilies in a pool near their home. They were found drowned in six feet (2 metres) of water. The poem remained hidden until re-discovered by author Judy Baker, who authored a book about the tragic drowning.
The garden of reflection is a place of peace and tranquillity that welcomes every family who has lost a child. Here, parents and family members can be together to help support each other and ensure that the memories of their lost children will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have been blessed by their presence. The garden of reflection was created to honour Hannah’s foundation – a charity for drowning prevention, awareness and support. The foundation was formed in 2008 by Andrew and Katherine Plint after the accidental drowning of their 34 month old daughter Hannah, on the 4th October 2007. The handprint is the emblem of Hannah’s Foundation and is significant in educating children to “STOP” around water. The colour purple represents Hannah’s favourite colour as she was affectionately known as “The Purple Princess” by her family and friends. The garden of Reflection is complemented by the babies of Walloon sculpture who are memorialised in the Henry Lawson’s Poem of the “Babies of Walloon”. The history of Henry Lawson, the “Babies Of Walloon” and Hannah’s Foundation are now joined by the garden with yellow and purple fowers. The colour scheme was chosen ny the Plint family to symbolise the official flowers of Hannah’s Foundation – the “gold Bunny” rose, blue iris and crocus flowers. Cr David Pahlke | October 2014