Quotes of the year

Grieving mother Debra Leys was shocked by the cemetery''s actions. 176368

“Two hundred mums from the Heritage Spring Primary school came here yesterday to comfort me. There were lots of cuddles and hugs. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I cried,” said Thida Lim, who was inundated with community support following the June firebomb attack on her cafe at Heritage Springs Shopping Centre.
“Walking down Pakenham last year, it did not feel like Christmas at all. It felt empty,” said Pakenham resident of 10 years Janet Watts following the council’s decision to again not install council-funded Christmas decorations in the town.
“I often walk with my family and the dog as the environment and views are amazing. There are kangaroos, echidnas, kookaburras and beautiful trees and scrub. Then you look around and see the mess,” said Pakenham resident Chelsea McGrath-Rafferty, who was fed up watching her neighbourhood turn into a dumping ground.
“For parents with prams or pedestrians using mobility aids, such as mobility scooters, walking frames, bicycles and so on, waiting on the road island can be both an uncomfortable and daunting experience when you feel one wrong move will mean the end of your life,” said Pakenham resident Mikayla Kennett. Ms Kennett in 2017 started a petition to make Pakenham’s Racecourse Road safer for families.
“I had a small plant, roses in his favourite colour and solar lights because he was scared of the dark as a boy, all of which I have to remove,” grieving mother Debra Leys said in December.  Ms Leys’ son died suddenly in his Pakenham home at the age of 29 and was told by Pakenham Cemetery management shortly before Christmas that all items that were not cemented down by Boxing Day would be thrown away.
“It really frightened me, given what has been going on around the world. It was a pretty sick joke, if that is what it was supposed to be,” Daniel Jones said. Mr Jones was banking a cheque at the National Australia Bank ATM on Pakenham’s Main Street on 3 June when a “smoking package” was hurled out of a car window towards him.

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