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City honours Springfield Lakes couple lost in flight MH370

MEMORIES: A plaque at Robelle Domain has been unveiled in memory of MH370 passengers Robert and Catherine Lawton (inset). Pictured are their daughters Glenda Brinckman, Melissa Lawton and Amanda Lawton.
MEMORIES: A plaque at Robelle Domain has been unveiled in memory of MH370 passengers Robert and Catherine Lawton (inset). Pictured are their daughters Glenda Brinckman, Melissa Lawton and Amanda Lawton. Inga Williams

THE daughters of the Springfield Lakes couple lost in Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 spoke about their heartache for the first time over the weekend as the city paid tribute to the couple.

Passengers Robert and Catherine Lawton were travelling with Middle Park couple Rod and Mary Burrows on one of their regular trips when the flight mysteriously disappeared over the South China Sea off Vietnam in March last year.

Amanda and Melissa Lawton and Glenda Brinckman joined Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, local councillor David Morrison and about 30 guests at Robelle Domain parklands to unveil a plaque and plant a tree in memory of their parents on Saturday.

Amanda Lawton said it was a great honour to have a place where the family could go to remember their parents.

"Dad quite often walked through the gardens there. He loved his gardening so it was quite appropriate in Robelle parkland," she said.

"It is nice that we have a place where we can go to; a place to think about them and remember them."

Catherine and Robert Lawton from Springfield Lakes were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Facebook
Catherine and Robert Lawton from Springfield Lakes were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on it's journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Photo: Facebook Contributed

 

She said the long search and lack of answers had been difficult for the family.

"It has been really hard just not having any news of where they are, or finding the aircraft but we have to carry on with our lives as Mum and Dad would want us to," she said.

"We are a very close-knit family. Everybody has their days when we are up and down. We tend to stick together and try to support each other as much as we can."

She said news on aircraft wreckage sightings and speculation prolonged the grief.

"We're still waiting for that day, but when you hear things you try not to over think it in case it isn't true.

"I guess we don't want to be disappointed. We're just waiting for the news.

"Sometimes you tend to block it out and other times, I know, for me personally it has really been affecting me emotionally lately. I don't usually cry but today I was in tears. It gets you when you least expect it.

"It was beautiful today, everyone talking about Mum and Dad. It was nicely put together. It was great of the council to put this together for us."

The family lived in Camira for years before the Lawtons moved to Forest Lake and more recently bought land at Springfield Lakes.

"Mum and Dad moved in to the area looking forward to the things to come in Springfield Lakes. They loved the area," Amanda said.

"They got this new block of land anticipating the new hospital and shops and the gardens close by. It was to be where they ... kind of like retirement lifestyle that they wanted here."

She said the family was planning a family Christmas picnic in the park near their parents' tribute.

Cr Pisasale arranged the memorial after meeting the family at the memorial service in Brisbane last year.

Cr Morrison said the peaceful part of Robelle Domain was a fitting tribute for the family.

"They were passionate gardeners. That was why we planted a tree in their memory," he said.

"It is a quiet, reflective place within Robelle Domain; a fitting tribute and a fitting location."

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