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Kilburn is a suburb just north of Adelaide, that is probably best known for the Islington Rail Yards and once dominated the entire area - geographically, socially, and economically.
The rail yards are being wound down and trains are disappearing from the area, creating a huge scrubby wasteland that the government is in the process of developing, and right next door is a park that is easily missed if driving past.
The Jack Watkins Reserve only has a narrow entrance, but beyond the car park it opens out into a large area. It is one of a large number of parks and reserves created by the Port Adelaide Enfield Council.
The reserve is well equipped and suited for many different purposes. Young children will be delighted with the playground - it is modern and colourful, including a good selection of play equipment. There is a slippery dip, climbing frames, a tunnel, swings, and other things that only a child knows how to use.
If you want to stay a while, there are shelters, picnic tables with seats and free barbecue facilities to allow a group of friends make an enjoyable day of it. A clean public restroom with disabled access is conveniently located at the park entrance.
Across the train track you have a commanding view of the current Pacific Freight site. It now must be one of the the biggest places in Adelaide to send freight by train.
The Jack Watson Reserve is named for Asbestos Jack, a campaigner for safer working practices and against the use of asbestos in the building trade.
It is so appropriate that this park and reserve celebrating life would be named after a man who dedicated his time to saving other people's lives.
Text of the Islington Railyard Workers Memorial
To the Islington Railyard Workers
This monument stands in memory of Islington railyard workers who died from an asbestos related disease.
In the past, many people worked in conditions that were unsafe and unhealthy. After an honest day's work, many workers took home with them not just their wages, but the seeds of their death from asbestos related illnesses. Today we are more aware of safety in the workplace and we can prevent such work related deaths from happening in the future.
The impact of asbestos related illnesses is keenly felt in the Kilburn area. It is fitting that this monument sits in what is now a public park that will be maintained for the benefit of the local Kilburn community.
May the sound of children's voices and laughter in this park stand as a tribute to those workers who died and help ease their passing.