David Cross, Abbyrose Cross and Raquel Morton at the bridge in Uki. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News
David Cross, Abbyrose Cross and Raquel Morton at the bridge in Uki. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News John Gass

Bridge rainbow to stay for now

A GRIEVING mum's memorial paint job on a bridge at Uki will be allowed to remain, pending locals' approval, Tweed shire councillors agreed last week.

The bridge over Smith's Creek on Kyogle Rd was chosen as the site of a group painting session to mark the birthday of young Marley Phoenix Morton-Cross, who died suddenly last year.

Marley was a healthy eight-year-old boy who played soccer for the Uki Pythons, loved rugby league, video games, skateboarding and, occasionally, junk food said his mother, Raquel Morton.

On the day he died he went off to Aetaomah Steiner School in Terragon as cheerfully as ever, before suddenly falling ill.

Marley complained of a headache and began to vomit before he was taken to hospital, where it was found he had suffered a brain aneurysm.

More than 30 of Marley's school and soccer mates and their parents arrived at the bridge on his birthday last week with food, drink and paint and proceeded to decorate the handrails in the colours of the rainbow.

Despite the sadness behind the event, it was a happy occasion, until the council got wind of it.

Workers were promptly dispatched to paint over the colourful additions, but when Raquel heard they were coming, she contacted Mayor Gary Bagnall, who called them off and put up an urgent notice of motion to Thursday's council meeting to discuss the matter.

Cr Bagnall's motion sought to allow the painting to remain, but councillors agreed to an amendment saying the rainbow's future should be decided by the district residents' association.

Raquel was philosophical about the fate of the paintwork.

"It would be great if it could stay, but I'm not attached to it. Nothing is permanent."

Such acceptance has helped Raquel cope with the sudden death of her son.

"When I saw him lying there on life support, I saw that it wasn't him any more. He had gone."

And as much as his death "sucks", she feels it was "his time". "We were lucky to have him for as long as we did and I feel I'll be reconnected with him forever, one day."



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