As a family, our first opportunity to settle came when we purchased the Lakes Entrance Squash and Fitness Centre, Victoria in 1981.
Damian and Megan settled into St Brendan's School very quickly, loving the fact that they would not be expected to move again. We had always been on transfer status with Dad Ray working for International Harvester Company.
Damian very quickly made friends. Among his close personal friends, Geoff Bottom was a stand out.
In 1990 my late husband Ray was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Removal of the tumour left him paralysed down one side. At that time it was discovered that he also had a tumour in the lung.
Ray was no longer able to perform the duties that he loved so much at the Fitness Centre. The Centre was sold and we prepared for a move to Lake Macquarie as Ray wanted more than any thing else to spend precious moments with his elderly Mother. Knowing that he had limited time, this filled Ray's heart with immense pleasure, giving him a deep sense of peace and love. Pearl always referred to Ray as 'My Baby'
Ray, Damian, Jeremy and I made the move to Warners Bay. Megan chose to remain in Lakes Entrance giving her the opportunity to keep her horse and other animals.
After Ray's passing in 1994 we were a little lost. Geoff Bottom made contact with Damian and suggested that they move to Melbourne together. Geoff said later that it was a great move as Damian was an excellent cook and kept an immaculate house. He had been well trained!
The constant cleaning of the squash and fitness centre gave him good skills. The children well remember the hours spent sweeping floors, cleaning toilets and showers as well as the glass front door that patrons insisted on touching with their hands rather than using the door handles.
Living in Melbourne Damian met and married Amanda. Geoff, who was best man at the wedding met Melinda (Amanda's sister) as she was also part of the Bridal Party. They married shortly after. They made the move back to Lakes Entrance.
On Thursday evening there was a tragic motor vehicle accident in Lakes Entrance. Geoff's first born child JAY (Jascha's cousin) lost his life.
Geoff was in Melbourne, intending to catch up with Damian at the time of the accident. A very close family, Geoff's children were with their sister (Aunty Liz.) I understand all of the children were in the 4 wheel-drive vehicle at the time of the accident.
It is with a sad and heavy heart that we say goodbye to this precious little 10 year-old.
An Angel in the Book of Life
wrote down your babies birth.
Whispered as she closed the book
'Too Beautiful for Earth'