Farewell a fitting tribute to brothers
By LUIS FELIU
TEARS flowed as more than 1500 people packed Murwillumbah's Sacred Heart Catholic Church yesterday to commemorate the lives of Banora Point brothers Kieran and Jordan Thomas who died together in a road accident last week.
The lives of the boys, aged 14 and 9, tragically cut short last Wednesday morning on Tweed Valley Way north of Condong as they were being driven to school by their mother Helen, were celebrated by a community united in grief and sorrow.
Grieving schoolmates from Mt St Patrick school and teammates from Murwillumbah Services soccer club formed a guard of honour outside the church after the two-hour mass as the boys' coffins were carried from the church by family members including older brothers Chris and Dale.
A small flock of white doves were then released as the two hearses moved away as an eerie silence descended on the town's cordoned-off Main Street.
Murwillumbah catholic parish priest Father Colin Reinhard offered the community's prayers, love and support for the Thomas family saying hundreds of people had expressed their sorrow at the passing of of Kieran and Jordan.
Fr Reinhard said the parish was also praying for Mrs Thomas who could not attend the service as she was still recovering from her injuries in hospital.
Many parents whose children knew the two boys, he said, had contacted him over the past week because their children were upset and they did not know what to say to them.
"I asked one boy why (Kieran) was his friend and he answered that 'when I was sad he made me happy and if I was alone he always played with me'," he said.
The community, he said, wanted to share their friendship and love for the family and came together yesterday to "heal the pain, sorrow and sadness".
Kieran and Jordan, he said, brought many pleasures and joys to others.
Many young friends of the boys, some holding back tears, shared some of their memories of their friendship with the congregation.
Maureen Taylor, the boys' aunt and only sister to their father Mark, paid tribute to her "wonderful and caring" nephews who were blessed with talent, patience, politeness, affection and a sense of humour.
"Both touched our lives in so many ways and we thank them for it," she said.
The support for the family in their grief, she said, had touched and overwhelmed them.
"Thanks boys for being such wonderful sons, brothers, nephews, grandkids and cousin ? you'll always be a big part of our lives," she said.
Mrs Thomas' older sister Christa Way, from the US, also shared memories of her "little princes" whose passing had "left an empty place in my heart".
"I remember when Kieran was running in a race at schools sports day, he was running in it for the pure love of it and when one of the kids fell over, he stopped, turned around, went back and helped his friend up," she said.
After the service the boys' uncle, Peter Thomas, from Stanwell Tops, said the family's grief was "new territory for us unfortunately ? we were a very close family".
"The support for the family has been unbelievable and overwhelming and is very much appreciated," he said.
"They were special, wonderful kids and the circumstances ... have touched everybody," Mr Thomas said.
He said she had insisted on attending the service but had a setback and was moved back to intensive care in Gold Coast Hospital late on Tuesday.
"I don't know how she's coping emotionally ? she's so heavily sedated because of her injuries ? I feel the emotional challenges are yet to be faced by Helen," he said.
A special memorial service for the boys to be held for the immediate family, he said, was to be held at the hospital late yesterday.