Sad goodbye for Clayton Buckland

Hundreds turned out on a cold Friday to say goodbye to Clayton Buckland. Above, his mother, Wendy Morris, embraces a mourner.
Hundreds turned out on a cold Friday to say goodbye to Clayton Buckland. Above, his mother, Wendy Morris, embraces a mourner. John Gass

THE strength of Clayton Buckland's parents as they laid him to rest yesterday was inspiring and heartbreaking.

The scale of Wendy Morris and Chris Buckland's loss revealed itself in their youngest daughter, Jade, who broke down while saying her late brother would "always be there to cheer me up and cheer me on".

"You will always be my hero," she said.

Jade and older sister Yasmin were passengers in the car that claimed their 19-year-old brother's life when it crashed into a tree on Tyalgum Rd, Eungella on May 23.

At the Melaleuca Station Memorial Gardens Chapel funeral Yasmin told the more than 500 people she knew she would see her brother again "one day".

The service included time-lapse videos by Clayton on top of Mt Warning and other locations with clouds rolling, growing, dispersing and flying past wind-whipped tree-tops.

A high-altitude sunrise featured in the first video and a sun setting behind hills closed the service.

Ms Morris read a letter from him thanking her for her selfless efforts to support his sporting pursuits.

"I loved hearing your voice, which was louder than anyone's," he wrote.

She also spoke of Mr Buckland and his son as "two peas in a pod".

"They argued often, but if you interfered they would always back each other up.

"Not a day will go by when we won't miss you. And the sacrifice you made for your sisters proves chivalry really does exist."

Murwillumbah High School year adviser Andy Mitchell created laughter amid the tears.

"His physics teacher would know when there was a big storm coming because Clayton wouldn't be in class."

He would instead be home testing the weather.

"I myself used him to plan a few mid-week fishing trips.

"Farewell Clayton and I look forward to seeing some of the epic storms you send our way in the summer to come," Mr Mitchell said.

Topics:  funeral memorial

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