Prime Minister John Howard said years later that wearing a flack jacket to a gun reform rally at Sale in Gippsland, on June 16, 1996 was one of his greatest regrets but many would say gun reform in Australia was the only good thing that came out of the Port Arthur massacre.

 

WEDNESDAY, April 28 is the 25th anniversary of the worst massacre in modern Australian history when 35 people were killed and 23 wounded at Port Arthur in Tasmania.

One of them was 21-year-old Kate Scott of Perth.

According to John Townsend of the Sydney Morning Herald, Kate was in high spirits on the day she died.

She’d travelled to Hobart to attend a wedding with her boyfriend, Mick Sargent, and had taken a side trip to Port Arthur before flying back to Perth in the afternoon to start a new job in the mining industry.

The plane ticket had been a 21st birthday gift from her grandmother the previous December.

But the joy of life ahead ended without warning when a bullet struck her in the back of the head from point-blank range as she ate at the Broad Arrow restaurant.

Mick Sargent was sitting opposite her and watched in horror as the gunman who no one names anymore, suddenly approached their table and pointed a high-powered rifle at them. As the gunman pulled the trigger, Mr Sargent lunged to the side. He was lucky. The bullet grazed his scalp and left a slight wound. A centimetre lower and he would have been the first of the 35 victims.

One of the victims of the Port Arthur massacre, Kate Scott, 21, of Perth.

But as he tumbled to the ground, he saw the gunman fire at Kate from point-blank range. The other two people at the table were among the few in the café left uninjured.

There’s an equally chilling story behind each of the 35 victims, leaving a trail of tragedy across 35 extended families, right across Australia.

The following is a list of those killed at Port Arthur:

* Winifred Joyce Aplin, 58

* Walter John Bennett, 66

* Nicole Louise Burgess, 17

* Sou Leng Chung, 32

* Elva Rhonda Gaylard, 48

* Zoe Anne Hall, 28

* Elizabeth Jayne Howard, 26

* Mary Elizabeth Howard, 57

* Mervyn John Howard, 55

* Ronald Noel Jary, 71

* Tony Vadivelu Kistan, 51

* Leslie Dennis Lever, 53

* Sarah Kate Loughton, 15

* David Martin, 72

* Noelene “Sally” Joyce Martin, 69

* Pauline Virjeana Masters, 49

* Alannah Louise Mikac, 6

* Madeline Grace Mikac, 3

* Nanette Patricia Mikac, 36

* Andrew Bruce Mills, 39

* Peter Brenton Nash, 32

* Gwenda Joan Neander, 67

* William Xeeng Ng, 48

* Anthony Nightingale, 44

* Mary Rose Nixon, 60

* Glenn Roy Pears, 35

* Russell James Pollard, 72

* Janette Kathleen Quin, 50

* Helene Maria Salzmann, 50

* Robert Graham Salzmann, 57

* Kate Elizabeth Scott, 21

* Kevin Vincent Sharp, 68

* Raymond John Sharp, 67

* Royce William Thompson, 59

* Jason Bernard Winter, 29

Commemoration

Arrangements have been made for a 25th Anniversary Commemoration Service at the Port Arthur Historic Site on Wednesday, April 28. The service will be conducted in the Memorial Garden which was officially opened on the 4th Anniversary of the incident in 2000. The designer of the garden was Torquil Canning who is a guest speaker at the commemorative event.

The Service will commence at 1pm and conclude by 1.45pm.

The event will no doubt be extensively covered by the national media, and a video recording of the service will be available online.