Murwillumbah honours Nathan
THE heart of Murwillumbah came to a standstill yesterday as businesses closed their doors while workers, shoppers and school children lined the main street to farewell one of their own – Private Nathan Bewes who died in Afghanistan two weeks ago.
“It's a mark of respect for the family and because we feel it hits home all round when it's one of our hometown boys,” said shopkeeper Beverley Hill.
“My husband was in the services for a long while. I understand the commitment Nathan felt,” added Mrs Hill who has run a dress shop in the town's main street for the past 18 years.
She said Murwillumbah was prepared to come out in force to show their respect for Private Bewes partly because it was a small enough community to still care deeply about others.
“It's still a little town. We are here to look after each other,” she said.
The last time businesses closed their doors and locals lined the streets for a funeral cortege was in March 2005 after the death in a tragic car accident of 31-year old Deon Chrisostomos - son of local cadet corps leader Chris Chrisostomos who was Private Bewes' cadet leader and helped arrange a guard of honour of the local cadet corps at yesterday's funeral.
Among many locals to line the main street was Jan Scott of Murwillumbah who stood opposite the church among media with a slightly-faded small Australian flag.
“My daughter Fiona was one of Nathan's cadet officers about ten years ago,” Mrs Scott said.
“Fiona is in the church. She came down from Warwick to be here today.
“My son was in the army too, so I have a lot of respect for the army boys.”