Hundreds of people are expected to attend a memorial service honouring victims of the Port Arthur massacre, 20 years to the day since 35 innocent people were gunned down.
The historic site’s management team only committed to mark the sombre anniversary in recent months at the urging of family and friends still grieving their loss.
Aware that many people feel such commemorations only keep a painful memory alive or even sustain the notoriety of the perpetrator, the organisers are determined to strike the most respectful tone.
No-one was formally invited to the hour-long service except for former prime minister John Howard.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and Governor Kate Warner are expected to attend, as are many survivors bearing physical or mental scars.
It will also be a chance for others to show their support, provide comfort and pay tribute.
• Paul Carter for the BBC in Hobart: The town of Port Arthur wants to forget killer Martin Bryant … Tasmania Times news website editor Lindsay Tuffin said Tasmanians wanted Bryant excised from memory. “There is no doubt that they do not want to even ponder it,” he said. “They just wish he never existed.” … Hobart Mercury editor Matt Deighton said local media approached the topic in a completely different way to mainland publications. “It’s as sensitive an issue as I’ve experienced in 26 years of journalism,” he said …
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...