Family, friends rally for victim
THE memory of South Grafton's Mark Savage lived on this month in the form of a mega working bee when friends and family rallied to help the late man's partner Louise Feltus.
A tragic dirt-bike crash claimed the life of Mr Savage on January 12 when he was riding in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with his brother Scott.
Mark's passing left his partner of nine years to complete the finishing touches on their "renovator's delight".
On Saturday, March 10, friends and family from as far afield as the Sunshine Coast and the Victorian town of Alexandra rallied to help Louise.
They repainted chairs, decks, tables, tiled the front room, painted the back fence, fixed the roof flashing and painting of lots of odd spots that had been previously missed.
Louise said without this massive support, polishing off the final rough edges of the South Grafton home would not have been possible.
She said her ex-commando partner Mark was an extraordinary man who moved to Grafton in 2009 following medical retirement from the military.
He served on a number of missions including a 1995 United Nations peace-keeping mission in Rwanda, Malaysia, East Timor and Hawaii for either international joint exercises and security roles over many years.
Louise said she had received amazing support from family, friends and the community.
"This has been an emotional, traumatic, but amazing experience; we have lost Mark but will have wonderful memories of this special man," she said.
"The support from the community, friends and family has been amazing and beyond imagination."
"I would like to thank John Kennedy and his family, and Warren and Jenny Byrnes who have really taken me under their wings."