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3 weeks ago, on April 17th, a young girl, Laeticia Brouwer, was attacked by a shark while surfing the waves with her father at a beach in Esperance in the south of Western Australia. Her father managed to get her to shore. Despite every effort to resuscitate and save her she died. She was 17.
While they live in a different locality the family are well known to us. They belong to the same church as we do, and send their children to the same schools where our children went and where now our grandchildren attend. Up until March of this year I was the chairman of the Association which runs them, and when I was a teacher I taught the father. We have grandchildren in Laetisha's class.
This tragic event sent huge shock waves through our churches, as well as through the community where Laetisha lived. In fact, because of the nature of the tragedy it deeply affected all of Australia. From this post too I want to express my deep sympathy with the family in their loss.
In the days after Laeticia's death the Church rallied around to support the family and friends in their deep grief. It was a difficult
and moving time for all of us.
Laeticia was buried last week.
On Sunday afternoon the local community and others who knew Laeticia through school or her surfing or whatever gathered together on the beach in Singleton where the family live to express their own sorrow and support for the family. A friend of ours made a video of the event using a drone. You can view it here.
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