At our recent AGM the issue of the removal of the plaque remembering the young girl who died in a plane crash off Shelly Beach was raised. After some debate it was agreed that we should get direction from the owners of the ground on which the plaque was placed. This is the letter we have received from Gill Fogarty, Chair of the Bushmans Kariega Trust.
I write to you in my capacity as Chair of the Bushman’s Kariega Trust (BKT) and on behalf of the members of the committee elected to manage the affairs of the Trust and in particular its property - Erf 4 Kenton-On-Sea. ERF 4 was purchased by the Trust and is owned by them in Full Title. It is cared for in terms of a constitution which clearly states that the pristine nature of this valuable asset be preserved for the people of Kenton.
We have recently received a threat of litigation regarding the supposed theft of a plaque at Shelly Bay.
As Chair of this committee, I considered the threat in a serious light and in view thereof decided to send you this letter laying out the facts of the matter.
- The Plaque in question was ordered by the Marinelli family after the death of their daughter Marcella (Shelley) in a flying accident off Shelly bay 20 years ago. A granite memorial with photograph was delivered to the tourism offices in Kenton on Sea. The publicity officer, who had been in touch with the family, then organised for some local municipal workers to carry it to the property and fix it to the rocks.
- The position was chosen by the municipal workers, and was simply the nearest access point to the path.
- The Marinelli family had asked, and obtained, permission from the BKT to have a plaque placed on the property. However, they were not here when it was delivered or when it was placed on the property, had no input as to its placement and to the best of our knowledge have not been here since it was placed on the land.
- As a result of this plaque being placed on the property legally, (i.e. with the permission of the land owner’s representatives) other plaques and memorials have arrived on the property illegally.
- Therefore a meeting of the committee of the BKT was called. A decision was taken to remove all plaques and memorials from the property. At no time did any member of the committee act in their private capacity.
- The committee later reached a compromise and agreed that this particular plaque only should be reinstalled, as permission had originally been granted by a previous committee of the BKT.
- Over time the plaque was damaged by people walking by, the photograph defaced and the plaque parted from its base. The plaque itself was, as had been agreed by the committee, reinstalled on the property but in a position considered more suitable.
- A committee member was tasked in December to contact the parents to advise them of the deterioration of the plaque and its base, and of the repositioning of the plaque on the property and to request advice on what they wish to happen to the base which is currently in safe keeping and can be handed over to the owners are soon as they are contacted, should they so desire. The committee will continue to pursue all avenues to make contact with the family.
- The committee has taken the decision not to allow the placement of any further memorials or plaques on this site, and is seeking to reach agreement with the other families concerning the removal of recent additions.
- Sadly, the committee feels that the matter has been blown out of all proportion, with rumours and misinformation abounding. I trust that this letter will clarify the position and enable us to close this matter
Chair Bushman’s Kariega Trust