Ceremony will honour the memory of Anita Cobby

Keeping Anita’s memory alive: Olivia Szyszka, 14, (right) pictured with mum Kathryn, and brother Cameron never got to meet their late aunt Anita Cobby. Picture: Gary Warrick
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The late Anita Cobby “We can’t ever forgive these five [convicted of murder] for what they did,” Anita’s mother Grace Lynch once told reporters. “but we must stop hating them or that hatred will destroy us.”

February 2, 1986 is a day Kathryn Szyszka (nee Lynch) will never forget.

Her life turned upside after older sister and ‘‘best friend’’ Anita Cobby was abducted, raped and killed by while walking home from Blacktown station in a crime that shocked Australia.

Until now, Kathryn and parents Garry and Grace (Peg) Lynch have commemorated the anniversary of Anita’s death quietly.

Mrs Szyszka welcomed retired chief inspector Gary Raymond’s idea of an inaugural community memorial to be held at Pinegrove Memorial Park next Monday, following the deaths of both parents in the last seven years.

She was also eager to help police spread the No Violence Against Women message.

‘‘I was keen to get on board as it seemed the right thing to do,’’ she told the Star.

‘‘It’s a way to remember my sister for the person she was and what she offered to the community as a nurse in her short life. It’s good for the younger generations to be made aware of the crime so it’s never forgotten. I’m pleased to be on board if it can bring something positive.’’

Mrs Szyszka was 20 at the time, five years younger than Anita.

‘‘When I got the call the following day that she hadn’t come to work, I knew instantly that something was terribly wrong because it was out of character for her to not turn up,’’ she said.

‘‘We were waiting for news a few days later when we heard a body had been found in Prospect. When we saw two detectives walking up to the door with solemn looks on their faces, we knew what news was coming.’’

Mrs Szyszka has been overwhelmed by the community response, including more 750 comments on the Blacktown Sun Facebook page in the last fortnight.

‘‘The anger in the community still there after 29 years is surprising,’’ she said.

‘‘We as a family moved beyond that. We learned to let go of the anger and deal with the grief. Mum and Dad found the strength to turn a negative situation into something positive. So many good things have come out of Anita’s death. But’s it’s lovely to know the support is still there and that people haven’t forgotten. I think it’s what a community it’s all about.’’

But she has never forgiven Anita’s five killers, who were sentenced to life, never to be released.

‘‘I was robbed of my sister and best friend,’’ Mrs Szyszka said.

‘Our bond progressed as we got older and became very close, where we would spend as much time together. It never gets easy telling the story. People are shocked when they hear what happened and it normally brings them to tears.’’

The memorial service for the 29th anniversary of Anita Cobby’s death will be held on February 2, 10am-11.30am at the Guardian Funerals Chapel at Pinegrove Memorial Park in Kington Street, Minchinbury.

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Kids look forward to school adventures

Ready for big school: Oxley Park Public School kindy kids Scarlett Allan, Phoenix Bailey, Braden McKenna and Samuel Allan are counting down the sleeps. Picture: Gary WarrickTHESE youngsters will have no shortage of mates in the playground when they start at Oxley Park Public School next week.
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Twins Scarlett and Samuel Allan, 4, are among hundreds of St Marys and Mount Druitt kindergarten pupils who will take their first steps into 13 years of schooling in the coming days.

The twins attended the preschool there last year.

“They’ll be in different classes so they don’t depend on each other too much,” mum Amanda Vyner said.

“They are close but they have different personalities. Scarlett is very dominating while Samuel likes to follow his sister’s lead. They each have their own friends.”

They also have older siblings Elizah, 10, and Maxwell, 6, to keep them company.

Ms Vyner doesn’t expect any tears from her youngest pair.

“It’s a little sad for me but they’ve been to preschool there,” she said.

“They’re very excited to see their friends again and before Christmas began asking when they would start.”

The twins told the Star they look forward to reading, writing and “colouring in between the lines”.

“I will miss my mummy,” Scarlett said.

Braden McKenna, 5, didn’t attend the preschool but is good mates with the twins — through their parents — who can’t wait to show him around.

“He loved orientation so much he didn’t want to leave,” his mum Karen said.

“He loved putting his school uniform on.

“It will be mixed emotions for me because he’s my first child starting school.”

Also excited is Phoenix Bailey, 5, who went to preschool with the twins at Oxley Park last year.

■The Back-to-School hotline 1300 738 338 runs on weekdays 8.30am-4.30pm until February 13. Experienced staff will offer expert advice about preparing children for school for the cost of a local landline call. Normal mobile charges apply.

Parents are encouraged to call their local school for starting dates and times.

Details: schools.nsw.edu.au.

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Socceroos v UAE: Everything you need to know

Last minute training for the Socceroos at Hunter Stadium. Picture: Jonathan Carroll● David Lowe: Once in a lifetime opportunity for football fans
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● Australiav UAE: Public transport way to go

Who: Australia vUnited Arab Emirates, Asian Cup semifinals

When: Tuesday, January 27

Where: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-off: 8pm

Weather: Showersin Newcastle (22 degrees).

HERE’S everything you need to know for Tuesday’sAsian Cup Semi-Final between Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates pose for a team shot. Picture: Getty Images

The UAE is located in the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.

The national football side is known as Al-Abyador “The Whites”. They made the World Cup in 1990 and finished runner-up in the 1996 Asian Cup.

They are currently ranked 80th in the FIFA world rankings, twenty spots away from Australia who entered the Asian Cup ranked 100th.

The two nations last met in October 2014, with the sides playing out a 0-0 draw.

Tuesday’sclash is the first time the sides have played each other in an Asian Cup.

Road closureswill be in place from4pm to midnighton Central St (both directions) and Young Rd between Turton Rd and Womboin Rd (both directions).

Hunter Stadium: A sell-out crowd is expected. Picture: Ryan Osland

Special event clearwayswill also be in place from3pm to midnighton Turton Rd and Young Rd.

Check signs carefully before parking as vehicles left in a signposted special event clearways will be towed and a towing fee applies.

Expect delays as traffic will be heavy, especially after full-time when motorists and pedestrians are leaving the venue.

If you’re heading to the game, be advised that the regular car park at Newcastle Stadium will not be available. Limited parking will be available on surrounding streets.

The AFC Asian Cup has partneredwith local transport authorities to provide free public transport to and from the stadium on match days. All you need to do is show your event ticket to bus and train personnel in order to gain free access.

4v2 quick feet and passes in tight areas #GoSocceroos#AUSvUAEhttps://t.co/Om6zwt8Mqf

— Socceroos (@Socceroos) January 26, 2015Ticket Offices will be open 2.5 hours before kick-off.

Gates will open 2 hours before kick-off.

The game is broadcast live on ABC, Foxsports and ABC Radio.

Australia’s Tim Cahill meets fans upon his arrival in Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

There is also a dedicated live site in the Honeysuckle precinct, with a big screen and interactive zone situated near the Crowne Plaza.

Regional state league netball event cancelled

NETBALL Victoria has announced the Northern Central division of the Regional State League tournament has been cancelled for this year.
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Due to a lack of numbers and interest in the tournament from playersit was decided to cancel the netball event for 2015.

Bendigo Football Netball League’s Melissa Ryansaid it was disappointing to not have the numbers to stage the tournament.

She said the BFNL will still host trials for its under-17 representative team.

The selected team will play in various tournaments including the Victorian Association Championships and Inter-League games.

Trials for the team will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Oval courts on March 2 and 16 between 6pm and 7.30pm.

“We have had a lot of interest in the 17-and-under team,” Ryan said.

She said the league would call for possible coaches in coming weeks.

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Singleton Australia Day: Photos

Singleton Australia Day: Photos Australia Day – Singleton 2015
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Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

Australia Day – Singleton 2015

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