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Mother’s plaque on memorial bench replaced without permission at Largs Bay

A South Australian council has asked people not to install their own memorials, after a family’s plaque on a beachfront in Adelaide’s north-west was replaced without permission.

In a post on a local community Facebook page, a woman detailed how she was working on putting a memorial plaque for her father next to her mother’s existing one on a bench along the foreshore at Largs Bay.

“However on my walk the other day I sat to have a chat with mum and her plaque had been replaced with another,” she wrote.

“I contacted the council and they said a member of the public had replaced the plaque without permission.”

The woman said while she was not angry, it was a jarring experience to discover her mother’s plaque had been replaced.

“Please don’t just take it upon yourself to replace plaques that are already there,” she wrote.

Memorial plaques on beachfront benches are a popular choice.(Unsplash: Krists Luhaers)

Largs Bay sits within the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, and its director of city assets Fiona Harvey told ABC Radio Adelaide the council had never seen something like this happen before.

“We were contacted by a family member yesterday to say that the plaque that was originally put on the bench had disappeared, and a new plaque had turned up on the bench,” she said.

“And they were obviously very concerned about what had happened to their plaque.”

Ms. Harvey said the foreshore was a “popular spot” for memorial plaques, but asked families not to install their own.

“I can appreciate it would be very distressing for the family whose walked by to spend some time with their loved one and see a plaque that’s not there anymore,” she said.

Ms Harvey said the plaque had been there for “quite some time”.

“And the family had worked with the council and invested the money to have the bench and plaque put in place,” she said.

“And so we’d really be keen to talk to the person or the family that had installed their own plaque to see whether there’s an opportunity for them to think about working through the process with us and finding a location that might suit them, if that’s what the desire might be.”

Ms. Harvey said the council had an application process in place for the installation of memorial plaques, which can cost up to $2,500 including a bench.

“We work very closely with the family so we don’t ask people to go and install their own plaques or memorial monuments,” she said.

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