Council uses bolt cutters on 400 love locks at Mt Keira
Illawarra Mercury 02 May, 2012 12:00 AM
Wollongong City Council has taken bolt cutters to 400 “love locks” attached to the Mt Keira lookout, citing damage to public property.
The padlocks – engraved to symbolise the lasting love of the couples who left them – were removed last month without warning.
Council yesterday issued an apology to affected couples and invited them to collect the dislodged hardware.
Shellharbour couple Sonya and Maurice Lorenz, who attached a lock as part of their wedding ceremony in March 2010, plan to retrieve their padlock because of its sentimental value.
They were alarmed to find it missing on a recent visit to the lookout and believe council should have given advance warning.
“If the padlocks are compromising the structural integrity of the railing we fully understand because safety is important,” Mrs Lorenz said.
“But before they [removed them] they should have notified the public – put a notice in the paper or put a sign up or made some attempt to let people know.”
The Lorenzes attached their padlock to the lookout railing after reciting their wedding vows on March 7, 2010. Afterwards they threw the keys into the escarpment as 60 guests cheered on. The padlock, like their union, wouldn’t be undone.
They returned to the lookout at the weekend because they wanted to size up the railing for two smaller locks they planned to attach for their daughters, 11-week-old Shalomae and Helena, who was stillborn in December 2010.
“You’ve got to look at it realistically and say it’s just padlocks, but there’s also the sentimentality attached to it, and wanting to continue the tradition,” Mrs Lorenz said.
A spokesman for Wollongong City Council said the locks contravened the management of assets policy and were removed because they were causing deterioration and damage to the lookout fencing.
“The metal locks cause corrosion of the fencing, which will drastically reduce the service life of the fencing,” he said.
“Council made the decision to remove the locks to prolong the life of this asset.”
Original story 24th May 2010 The Dolls Point Blogger
FRIENDSHIP LOCKED AWAY FOR A LONG TIME INTO THE FUTURE
When life is so thick that hardly any sunlight can make its way through that’s when you need friends. So on a rainy Sunday like today when dark clouds have blocked out the sun it’s great being out with friends and making sure the sun comes shining through.
We have driven to Mount Keira just a few kilometres northwest of the city of Wollongong. The mountain formed as part of the escarpment fold between 80 and 60 million years ago and sits above the city giving fantastic views of the coastline.
As a matter of fact you can see the Kurnell Oil Refinery which is 53 kilometres to the north and the northern headland of Jervis Bay which is 64 kilometres to the south. To the east the horizon is 77 kilometres away.
From the cliff base the mountain slopes down to the surrounding foothills and coastal plain where suburbia reaches up to encroach on the lower slopes.
At the summit is the Mountaintop Restaurant and that’s where we have come to have lunch and fasten a lock to the railing that runs along the edge of the lookout. We have engraved our names on the lock to symbolise the bond of friendship which exists between us which in some cases dates back 20, 30 and even 50 years.
Happiness comes when we connect deeply with others and when you are with friends a song begins in your heart and although you can’t always remember the words you never forget the tune. It’s what makes you happy.
As friends we meet at least once a week, we show concern when we have problems, we buy gifts on major anniversaries and it’s never a problem to find time should anyone need you.
We celebrate successes, and offer empathy and good listening during hardships and we are always planning and doing fun activities, going to the movies, dinners out and weekend trips or sometimes just coffee. It can’t last forever but it will last until we are gone.