Broken Hill Historical Society secretary Jenny Camilleri said the attack was buried in the past: "It was never mentioned in school. We didn't even know the meaning of the word Muslim until recently."

But memories did not die. Technical school students made a replica of the ice-cream cart and it now does duty as a tourist attraction at White Rocks Reserve; a rotting old wooden ore carriage denotes the attack site and the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney has the rifles, the Turkish flag, a bandolier and a Koran.

When Alma Cowie died in Clarrie O'Brien's arms on the picnic train she was wearing his friendship. His son found it when Clarrie died and gave it to a local museum.

For Peggy Corny, Alma's niece, the ring completed the circle. "It was just so lovely to know after so many years that he treasured her all his life," Peggy said.

Alma Cowie is buried in a family grave in the dusty Broken Hill Cemetery about 500 metres from where she was shot. A glass dome filled with delicate porcelain flowers and small birds sits on the white tiled slab. Peggy Corney cleans it occasionally. "The red dirt gets into everything out here," she says.