Our heartfelt gratitude to eighty people who filled Uki Hall with love, gratitude, singing and tears on 30th September.
John, Wendy and Liam are still recovering from the powerfully heart-opening experience of Bless this Road.
We’ll have the workshop report to you soon, as well as photos … and later a video of the day.
Thank you all so much for bringing your love and caring to our healing day!
Kyogle Road Repaired, 13 September 2018
Photo: Sarah Birkett, Uki
BLESS THIS ROAD, SUNDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2018, UKI, NSW
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Why do we gather?
We gather to solve problems we can’t solve on our own. We gather to celebrate, to mourn, and to mark transitions. We gather to make decisions. We gather because we need one another. We gather to show strength. We gather to honor and acknowledge. We gather to build companies and schools and neighborhoods. We gather to welcome, and we gather to say goodbye.
— Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering, 2018.
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Welcome! We have created this blog for the friends, family, carers, and communities of Matilda and Cecilia Bevelander and Karl Langheinrich, who lost their lives on the Kyogle Road near Uki in 2015 and 2016. In their honour, and to celebrate the opening of the repaired Kyogle Road, we are holding a day of community education, healing, and gratitude on 30 September 2018 in the Uki Hall.
Our plan for this day is that it can combine very different elements, private and public, sadness and joy, painful memory, as well as expressions of heartfelt celebration and gratitude. To do that, we will try to set aside some times and spaces, some moments for tears and some moments later in the day for gaiety.
We want everyone to feel welcome, comfortable and accepted in our space of healing and appreciation.
John Bevelander, his son Liam Bevelander, and Wendy Sarkissian have joined together to bring to life a new form of community building and empowerment.
Road Safety Workshop (9:30 to 12:15)
We begin with a two-hour Road Safety Workshop, which will be factual, informative and hard-hitting. We will learn what best practice road safety looks like and feels like from highly qualified specialists, as well as sharing fine-grain, essential local knowledge and wisdom. We will prepare a communique to be delivered to the Minister, the local Member, the NSW Coroner, the Department of Roads and Martimime Services (RMS), Tweed Shire Council, road safety officials and experts and others in the field of road safety. The results will be published in the December 2018 edition of a prominent international road safety journal.
Matilda’s Rainbow Lunch (12:15)
Then the energy will change dramatically, as we move into Matilda’s Rainbow Lunch, honouring Matilda Bevelander, who was only 16 when she died (as it turns out, on Wendy’s birthday). At this time, we will greet other guests and enjoy an informal bring-a-plate lunch where everyone can mingle. Matilda’s Rainbow Lunch will culminate in the symbolic naming of this rebuilt stretch of Kyogle Road as “The Matilda Way”. Tweed Shire Mayor, Councillor Katie Milne, will ceremonially cut the ribbon to “declare open” The Matilda Way.
And we vow to call this stretch of roadThe Matilda Way from this moment on.
Appreciations (12:50 to 2:30)
Part 3 of our day of celebration will offer Wendy and John and his son, Liam, survivors who lost our beloved family members, an opportunity to give thanks to a wide range of people (over 25 and counting) who helped us deal with the harsh reality of losing our loved ones and the task of rebuilding our lives. We will especially celebrate the caring ethics of the local police and paramedics, as well as the Tweed Shire Council for rebuilding the road. Many others will receive our appreciation. An Aboriginal cleansing, blessings, activist songs and some communal singing will round off a day of healing and celebration… before we repair to the Mt Warning Hotel to raise our glasses to the sweet memory of our beloved Cecilia, Matilda and Karl.
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HERE IS THE FULL PROGRAM FOR THE DAY: