Amazing Grace tribute to little girl lost in Loch Gairloch canoe tragedy
CLASSMATES of a five-year-old girl who died after a canoe capsized on a sea loch have paid touching tributes to their friend.
Hundreds of mourners paid their respects at an emotional service held for Grace MacKay in her home village of Muir of Ord yesterday. Her devastated parents Garry and Wendy were in tears as they followed her coffin out of East Church with Grace’s eight-year-old sister, Callie, who swam ashore with her father to raise the alarm last month.
Two brothers, Ewen, five, and Jamie Beaton, two, also died when the canoe overturned on Loch Gairloch on Sunday, 26 August. A search continues for their father, 32-year-old Ewen.
Mourners, many wearing an item of pink clothing in memory of the youngster, watched a film of Grace singing Baa, Baa Black Sheep and dancing before the service began. The family arrived as the Carly Rae Jepson song Call Me Maybe, one of Grace’s favourites, was played.
The opening hymn was Amazing Grace, before a tribute by Rev Scott Polworth in the church, which was decorated by Callie with Moshi Monsters, a favourite toy of the sisters.
Rev Polworth read a list of comments made by her classmates at nearby Tarradale Primary, including: “She was always smiling. She was a good friend. She was a kind girl who let me play with her. She had a good imagination. She was fun to play with. She was funny to be with.”
He added: “Grace Margaret MacKay was born in 2006 and from the moment she opened those beautiful eyes of hers, she brought joy and laughter to Garry, Wendy and Callie. Grace and Callie were inseparable, like twins, a bond of love.
“Grace had an infectious smile and a gracious, sweet nature. She was a bright and determined girl who was up on her feet and walking before her first birthday.
“She recently remembered her grandparents’ telephone number and put it to good use.
“She brought determination and enthusiasm to all she did. She went to Tarradale Nursery and primary school, giving others the privilege to meet the bright, caring, thoughtful girl that Garry and Wendy loved. We are so glad that they shared her with the world.”
He said Grace always put others first before reading a poem – Young Life Cut Short by an unknown author – before a short tribute was made by her grandfather John MacKay.
“We remember the very first time we took her home from hospital and how proud we were to be grandparents for a second time … God we were chuffed,” said Mr MacKay.
He recalled: “Those telephone calls, she would call first thing in the morning, just before work, and then again at supper time.”
Rev Polworth finished the service with a prayer, in which he referred to the accident and said: “We pray for those who have had great sorrow.”
After He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands was sung, Grace’s coffin was led from the church with her parents and Callie walking behind.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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