In this terrible accident of 21 April 1979, Outdoor Education teacher, Mr John Stamford, his wife Mrs Janelle Stamford, and two students, Helen Gahan and Jillian Skaines, lost their lives. Girls, parents, teachers and the broader community of the School were deeply and profoundly affected by the tragedy. Forty years later, the School remains committed to honouring the memory of those who died, acknowledging the survivors of that day and recognising the strength and courage that followed.
The School will hold a service at St John’s Cathedral on Tuesday 23 April, and all in our community are warmly invited to attend the service. On the day prior to the accident, the group of girls who were on the Christmas Creek expedition attended an Easter service with their families at St John’s Cathedral, and our service will contain some familiar elements from this time.
An intimate gathering for those very closely connected to the tragedy is also planned for Sunday 28 April 2019 at the School’s Marrapatta Memorial Outdoor Education Centre, a facility the School established at Imbil. It is testament to the strength and character of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, led by Principal, Mrs Judith Hancock and the Board of Trustees at that time, that despite the tragedy, the School was determined not to retreat from challenge and adventure for our girls, but rather to embrace it through the establishment of Marrapatta.
The School’s current community of girls, teachers and other staff will continue to uphold the tradition of commemorating the Christmas Creek bus accident at our annual special assembly in Term 2.
For more information about these memorial occasions please contact Alumnae Relations Manager, Ms Antonia Swindells, on 07 3332 1300.
We understand that such milestone anniversaries can be particularly painful or difficult. In recognition of this, the School will provide access to our independent counselling service throughout 2019, should there be members of our community who may wish to access it. Confidential and professional support, free of charge, may be accessed online via the Benestar website, by phone on 1300 360 364, or in person.
The School respectfully acknowledges the importance of this occasion in the history of Brisbane Girls Grammar School.
Please visit the pages below for more information about the upcoming Service and Imbil Gathering.