News

Grandparents lost: Popular duo on missing Malaysia flight

The Springfield Lakes home of Catherine and Robert Lawton who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
The Springfield Lakes home of Catherine and Robert Lawton who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

THE sign in front of their neat Springfield Lakes home said everything about Bob and Cathy Lawton: Welcome to Poppy's - where memories are made and grandchildren are spoilt. Open 24 hours.

Loving parents, devoted grandparents, caring neighbours - the Ipswich couple were loved and respected by all who knew them.

The Lawtons, both in their late 50s, were among 239 passengers feared dead when their Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared over the South China Sea off Vietnam on Saturday.

The flight was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

They had been travelling with their close friends, Rod and Mary Burrows, from Middle Park, on the trip of a lifetime to China.

Neighbour Matt Cash, who lives two doors down from the Lawtons, said he and other neighbours were shocked by the news.

"They say God has a plan, but you have to wonder when awful things like this happen to good people like Bob and Cathy," he said.

"You never expect things like this to happen so close to home ... it would have been such a terrible way to go."

LOCAL TRAGEDY: Catherine and Robert Lawton, from Springfield Lakes.
LOCAL TRAGEDY: Catherine and Robert Lawton, from Springfield Lakes. Contributed

Mr Cash, 31, described the Lawtons as caring, welcoming and always cheerful.

"They were the second residents to build on this street, so some of us knew them well.

"They would always offer to keep an eye on our house if my partner and I ever went away for a while.

"And if I was out the front watering the yard, they would never pass by without offering a friendly hello."

Mr Cash said he and Bob would often chat about gardening and was always envious of how immaculate the grandfather kept his lawn.

Bob and Cathy Lawton had three daughters - Amanda, Melissa and Glenda - and two grandchildren.

"I've talked with a few residents in the street about what happened to Bob and Cathy," Mr Cash said. "Those who knew them are especially upset."

Cathy's last comment on Facebook was "Off to China".

Ipswich councillor David Morrison expressed his sadness at the news of the missing Springfield couple.

"If there is anything my office can do to help their family in this sudden loss all they have to do is ask," he said.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said six Australians had been confirmed on the flight's manifest.

The Springfield Lakes home of Catherine and Robert Lawton who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
The Springfield Lakes home of Catherine and Robert Lawton who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

Topics:  editors picks, malaysia airlines, malaysia airlines flight mh370



Shark warning! Ipswich to erect signs at river hot spots

BULLISH: Brisbane and Bremer rivers are full of bull sharks so warning signs are planned to go up alerting residents to the dangers.

Sharks still teeming in Brisbane, Bremer rivers

Ipswich teen pleads guilty to murdering grandfather

court generic

19-year-old faced Adelaide Magistrates Court

Injuries reported after crash near school

Queensland Ambulance Service on scene of an accident.  Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

Emergency services called to accident on Brisbane Valley Hwy

Local Partners

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.