Flood victims farewelled
RURAL firefighter Danny McGuire yesterday had the heart-wrenching task of burying his family.
Mr McGuire, supported by his only surviving child, Zachary, 7, said a final farewell to his wife, eldest son and only daughter – all taken when a torrent of water ripped through their home town of Grantham.
Llync-Chiann Clark-Jibson, also a rural firefighter, son Garry Jibson, 12, and daughter Joscelyn, 5, died as Mr McGuire desperately tried to escape an eight-metre wall of water on the afternoon of January 10.
The torrent engulfed the rural fire truck Mr McGuire and his family were in. He scrambled to safety, pushing his son Zach up a tree and telling him to “hold on”.
The pair spent eight hours clinging to a tree while their upturned vehicle bobbed in the water below.
Yesterday mourners were led by a procession of rural fire trucks, including a Holden ute with Llync's white coffin in its tray, closely followed by the coffins of her two children as they took their final journey.
The procession made its way through Gatton's main street to the Gatton Cemetery where the trio were welcomed by a piper and a guard of honour made up of rural firefighters.
Family and friends yesterday recalled at an emotional graveside service the “fateful day” that took away their “angels”.
“They touched everyone's lives,” family members told the hundreds of mourners that included family, friends, rural and urban firefighters, the children's school friends and childcare workers.
“Llync loved her family, and was a great wife, and a very good mum.”
Llync first met her soul mate Danny at the Gold Coast when she started working for him in the fibreglass industry; she was just 16.
“Llync was a very hard worker, putting blokes to shame,” her family said.
Three-and-a-half years ago the family moved from the Gold Coast to Grantham, and the children thrived in the rural landscape.
“Garry was very much an outdoors boy. He loved being outside with his brother and sister, their dogs and push bikes, especially when there was no petrol for the motorbikes,” the family said.
“Jocelyn was very much a dad's girl and really loved riding her quad bike that she received for Christmas. She especially loved competing against her brothers.”
Tears flowed as a dozen balloons were released by childcare workers, while family and friends placed masses of flowers on their coffins in a final farewell.