24 August 2016

Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains) (13:31): Today I acknowledge the wonderful Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum team in the Blue Mountains electorate. On 12 August the heritage museum hosted an event to unveil a plaque commemorating Hendrikus Hendrik Trip, known as Rieks, who was a fuel man at the depot in the early 1950s. Rieks was employed by the New South Wales Government Railways. He had one of the dirtiest and most physically demanding jobs at the depot. On 10 April 1953 while walking to the depot along the railway tracks, Rieks was struck and killed by a locomotive.

Rieks' story was unknown to the museum and the Springwood Historical Society until 2006 when an email arrived from two of his nephews in the Netherlands seeking details of the accident. An incredible and comprehensive research story involving many people unfolded from that point. It was moving to have the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and family members of Rieks in attendance. The efforts of these people to organise a dedication and a memorable day to tell this important story is to be commended: Jeff Russell and Bruce Coxon in particular, and all life members and dedicated volunteers of the museum.