News

No rest until justice is delivered

Mourners gather outside St Paul’s Anglican Church.
Mourners gather outside St Paul’s Anglican Church. David Nielsen

ALLISON Baden-Clay was farewelled by family and friends in her home town with a mixture of sorrow, happy memories and a steely resolve to bring her killer to justice.

Hundreds pressed into St Paul's Anglican Church in the Ipswich CBD yesterday, while many more watched the funeral service on a big screen outside, in warm sunshine.

An Anglican church spokesman said the service was being filmed for Allison's young daughters to watch when they grow up.

As with her disappearance and discovery, Allison's funeral was a highly public event, with a throng of media surrounding the church.

Police guarded the car park behind the church where Gerard Baden-Clay, daughters Hannah, Sarah and Ella, Allison's best friend Kerry Anne Walker and Allison's parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie parked and entered the church away from the media.

Reverend Bev Bell, from the Baden-Clay's home parish, said the service was to say goodbye to a beautiful woman and to pay tribute to her life.

Allison's elder sister Vanessa and younger brother Ashley delivered the eulogy. Vanessa said Allison's life was filled with love and laughter.

"Our Allison has left this life under such tragic circumstances. She had so much to live for," Vanessa said.

She said that out of the children, Allison was the one born to dance. "She had that spark, a warm, open smile and tapping feet," she said.

She recalled Allison choreographed the school's Rock Eisteddfod entry at Ipswich Girls' Grammar and delighted in singing Send in the Clowns in the playground.

Allison was an Expo 88 ambassador and was snapped up to show foreign guests around with her language skills, especially Japanese.

In a light-hearted eulogy coloured with sadness, she spoke about how proud Allison was when she made Ipswich Flight Centre the most profitable in the state.

Vanessa said after Allison and Gerard married in 1997, Allison became a devoted and loving wife and "supported him in marriage until the day she died".

"She sacrificed her career to become a mother and she was devoted to her daughters and to becoming the best mother she could be," she said.

"She was always the one to inspire you to great things; she was a high achiever and an unselfish soul and the world was touched by her natural kindness and love.

"There will be a dark void left in each of us where Allison touched us."

Vanessa laughed as she remembered the woman who could laugh for herself and at herself "sitting on the bed with a block of chocolate in one hand a diet book in the other."

But her manner turned serious as she spoke about Allison's untimely death.

"There are many questions that are unanswered and we, as a family, pledge to you we will have them answered," she said.

After a slideshow of images from Allison's life, her daughters placed posies and cards they had made for their mum on her coffin.

Then her best friend Kerry Anne Walker spoke, crying as she did.

"Today is a sad day," she began.

"Later we will celebrate her life but today we are here for Ally. She was taken from us in the worst way and that makes it worse. How and why did something so terrible happen to someone so beautiful and loving?

"In the past few weeks we have seen the best and worst of human nature - the people who searched for her, the Brookfield community. The worst images were Allison all alone and the isolation of her final resting place."

She said Allison was "extravagant only in her giving to others" and she felt lucky to have been best friends since their school days.

"Ally loved her days at IGGS and everyone loved her," she said.

They went on an exchange program trip to Denmark together, went to university together and studied hard but never missed Days of Our Lives.

One day Allison flooded the house they shared by overloading the washing machine then blew up the vacuum cleaner trying to suck up the water.

But, she said, Allison's weaknesses were outnumbered tenfold by her successes.

After the service, the hearse carrying Allison's coffin went through two guards of honour, one formed by Ipswich Girls' Grammar School students and the other by officers from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

Retired Ipswich firefighter Ron Smith said he joined the fire service about the same time as Geoff Dickie and they were the same age.

"It's just a tragedy. I hope they get to the bottom of it soon," Mr Smith said. "It will never be over for them."

Among those to pay their respects to Mrs Baden-Clay were former neighbours Travis and Gloria Boyle and their daughter Kaylene Homburg.

The Boyles lived a few houses down from Geoff and Priscilla Dickie in Spencer St, Redbank, for more than 20 years.

Mr Boyle said all the families in the street knew each other and the children would always play together. "Allison was always such a happy girl - she was never down about anything," he said.

Mr Boyle, his wife and daughter offered a hug to Mrs Baden-Clay's grieving parents after the funeral.

"They are getting on the best they can at the moment," Mr Boyle said of his former neighbours.

"This is such a terrible thing for them to have to go through."

Timeline

APRIL 20: Gerard Baden-Clay reports his wife Allison missing from their Brookfield home. Police begin searching the area the same day.

APRIL 21: Search continues, with police asking residents in the area to check their properties.

APRIL 25: After widespread search fails to turn up any clues, police plead for information from anyone who saw either of the Baden-Clay family's vehicles on the night of April 19.

APRIL 26: Police remove property including a computer and hard drive from Mr Baden-Clay's parents' house at Kenmore.

APRIL 27: Police and SES search a 1km radius around the place where they believe Mrs Baden-Clay was last seen.

APRIL 30: A canoeist finds Mrs Baden-Clay's body in Kholo Creek, Mt Crosby. It takes police a day to confirm the body belongs to Mrs Baden-Clay. A murder investigation commences.

MAY 1: Police and SES search a large area around Kholo Creek in search of clues.

MAY 4: Police call for anyone who drove near the intersection of Brookfield Rd and Moggill Rd on the night of Thursday April 19 to come forward.

MAY 11: Hundreds of family and friends pack into and around St Paul's Anglican Church to say an emotional farewell to Mrs Baden-Clay.

Topics:  allison baden-clay funeral murder



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