By: Kirsty Nancarrow
About 200 people have turned out at a community event in memory of eight children who were killed in a Cairns home in far north Queensland a year ago.
The bodies of the four girls and four boys, aged between two and 14, were discovered in a house on Murray Street at Manoora, less than a week before Christmas last year.
The mother of seven of the children and aunt to the eighth, Raina Thaiday, was charged with their murders.
The matter is due to return to court mid next year.
Cairns pastor James Gela from the Keriba Yadyl Torres Strait Islander Corporation has been helping the families through their ordeal.
He said while it was not in keeping with traditional custom, they decided to put on a public event on Saturday as a one-off remembrance day.
The day is titled Serer Ge Buai Giz – Au Esoau Kemer Kemer Uteb Narid which, translated is “Celebrating Family — Thanking The Wider Community”.
“Twelve months on, it’s a positive gesture and part of that healing process,” he said.
“The families can’t really thank the community enough for the support they’ve been giving.
“Following that incident and right up until now the support has been overwhelming.”
Two public events will be held over the weekend.
A special one-off remembrance day began at 1:00pm, which included a community barbecue and concert.
The event ran until 5:30pm in the Stan Williams Park at Brothers Leagues Football Club in Behan Street at Manunda, with a barbecue and activities for children in the park.
A public concert was held from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the park.
On Sunday, a pastoral service and tree-planting ceremony will take place from 11:00am to 1:00pm at Green Park in Murray Street at Manoora.