Family seeks positive signs by malj

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									Family seeks positive signs
By MARY ALEXANDER
October 4, 2005




Rosemarie and Geoff Barby, of Terang, and their two youngest children, Imogen and Paul, have built a
new outdoor entertaining area at their home in memory of their two eldest children, Kate and Daryl, who
died in a car accident. One of the only things that hasn't changed in the backyard is Kate's childhood
cubby house, pictured in the background. Kate would have celebrated her 21st birthday last week.
Rosemarie holds a newly-completed patchwork quilt that she had planned to give Kate on the day.
Picture: ANGELA MILNE


SIX months have passed but Geoff and Rosemarie Barby say the pain of losing
two of their children is getting harder to deal with rather than easier.

Their two oldest children, Kate, 20, and Daryl, 18, died in a horrific car
accident at Berrybank, east of Lismore, along with Kate's friend, Canadian
Sarah Lopaschuk, 20.

"From what I gather, talking to people who've been in similar situations, it's not
that it gets better but it's that you've learned to live with it in your life,"
Rosemarie said.

"It's like you're in a nightmare you can't get out of."

"It's just one long nightmare," Geoff agreed.
"I know it will get better eventually because you've seen people at the other
end."

He hopes that once a full year has gone by since the accident and they've faced
Father's Days and Mother's Days, birthdays and Christmas, that the pain will
ease a little.

Although the accident had happened on the evening of March 31, it was not
until the next afternoon that the Barbys and their two younger children, Paul,
16, and Imogen, 12, could be reached at Innamincka, a tiny township near the
South Australia-Queensland border.

Geoff and Rosemarie were in the first week of a three-week holiday and they
were able to piece together what had happened when they flew home later
that afternoon on a charter flight to Warrnambool.

Kate, Daryl and Sarah were spending a few days at the Barby's Terang home. All
three studied at the University of Melbourne.

They had been on a day trip to Ballarat. Photos found on Sarah's camera after
the crash showed the three of them happy and carefree in the sunshine at Kryal
Castle.

On the trip home Kate, who was driving, apparently missed a give way sign at
the intersection of the Berrybank-Wallinduc Road with the Hamilton Highway
and collided with an oncoming semi-trailer. All three youngsters were killed
instantly.

"The physical pain of losing a child is something you could never expect - that
really amazed me ®¢ everything hurts. You have this huge ache in your heart,"
Geoff said.

"You don't realise what you've got until it's gone.''

"But we have no regrets," Rosemarie said. "We have all good memories.

“They had opportunities and they made the most of them. They were just so
happy. There's nothing we'd want to change."

"Other than the one thing we can't," added Geoff.

Daryl would have turned 19 on August 24 and Kate was planning to celebrate
her 21st birthday on September 25.

The Barby family has now organised an afternoon tea to commemorate Kate's
21st birthday and celebrate her life.
It will be held on Saturday, October 15, with an open invitation for family and
friends to share their memories and photos, which will be collated into a book.

Rosemarie and Geoff believed one of the benefits of living in a small
community like Terang was the support in times of tragedy.

"People have just been amazing. We cannot thank them enough."

Rosemarie is hoping something positive will come out of the loss.

"You can't ask why it's happened but there's got to be something positive that
comes out of it. Whether it's changes to road signs or whether one day we can
be helpful to other people in the same situation, who knows?"

She believed if there was a stop sign at the intersection rather than a give way
sign, Kate would have stopped.

They had paid for her to participate in an advanced driving course and she was
a good driver.

"Yes, we're responsible and we should obey the road rules, but the
government - whether it be Federal, State or local government ®¢ have a
responsibility to maintain the roads and have them well sign-posted.

"At the end of the day I would hope all intersections on highways will
eventually have a stop sign.

"Stops signs are cheap. Stop signs are easy."

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