Family and friends say farewell to Corey
By HUGH KEARNEY
A GATHERING of family and friends at the Tweed Lawn Cemetery yesterday paid their final respects to Chinderah teenager Corey McDowell, 15, who drowned in the surf at Cabarita last week.
Retired Murwillumbah Methodist minister John Bowles, who christened Corey as an infant, conducted the simple outdoor service attended by about 200 mourners, including many of Corey's school friends from Kingscliff High School.
Corey's parents Leanne and Lance McDowell, his brother Callan and sister Courtney as well as Corey's girlfriend, Talia, each held a single red rose throughout the service as they bade farewell to their beloved son, brother and close friend.
Mr Bowles said he recalled holding baby Corey in his arms at the age of two months, and dedicating him to God.
He said the McDowell household was one where Christian values were upheld.
"Lance and Leanne provided Corey with the very best gift any child can have, a stable marriage and a dependable, loving home," Mr Bowles said.
He described Corey as a typical boy, who loved his music and his CDs.
It was not uncommon, Mr Bowles said, for Corey to go to sleep listening to his music.
"Corey was artistic, he loved his Playstation, he loved his mates and he loved swimming," Mr Bowles said.
"He was active, thoughtful and sensitive."
Three of Corey's closest high school friends also spoke at the service.
Jared Peart said Corey was a great mate to them all and was generous to others, and unafraid.
Brennan Smith said he had only known Corey since Year 7, but wished he had known him longer.
"We will always miss you," Brennan said.
By family request, in lieu of flowers, donations from well-wishers were directed to the surf lifesaving and helicopter services who took part in the search for Corey last week.