Town unites to restore murdered girl's grave
THIS year marks 30 years since the day Roma changed forever.
On May 22, 1990, Stacey-Ann Tracy was walking to school when Barry Hadlow abducted her, committed vile crimes before murdering her and dumping her body in Bungil Creek.
For four days, townsfolk searched for the young girl before she was found near Miscamble St on Saturday, May 26.
For nearly 30 years, Janet Clarke has been mourning the loss of her forever-nine-year-old. Last year, she was approached by Maranoa Regional councillor Geoff McMullen about restoring Stacey-Ann's gravesite.
Cr McMullen engaged Rotary, Grulke Concreting, Halls Furniture and Carpet and Home Hardware to refurbish the site, much to the shock of Ms Clarke.
"I'm sort of overwhelmed that it's been done, I've just been blown away by the generosity," she said.
"I could not have afforded to have it done like that, and I can't thank the community enough.
"I moved away from Roma in 1991, and since then I have had friends and family go out constantly to Stacey-Ann's grave, but I cannot thank the community enough.
"This year will be a really hard one, it will be really hard.
"The people of Roma have always been so supportive, and I just want to say thank you to them for everything.
Ms Clarke is moving back to Queensland from Melbourne next week, and said she would be making a stop in Roma to see her daughter's newly restored grave.
Cr McMullen said after he read a Western Star article on the 29th anniversary last year, he decided he and the community needed to do something.
"I started talking to a few of the Rotary fellows to run a Go Fund me page, and that's when they said … well maybe we can do something," he said.
Scott McGouell, president of Rotary Roma, said he had heard suggestions from Russell Grulke about contributing to the restoration, and put it to members.
"It was a unanimous decision, a no-brainer," he said.
"Thirty years, it's been a long time coming and it's been great to be involved. This is something that has stuck with the community.
"This has been a real community effort."
Grulke Concreting concreted the new grave, Halls Furniture donated the pink tiles, and Home Hardware also gave a donation to assist the process.