Tribute to a beautiful soul

Brad and Kris Gray (stolen from Facebook) Brad and Kris Gray (stolen from Facebook)

Last Thursday (05.03.2015), this earth lost one of its beautiful souls.

Kris Gray of Lota, lost her quiet and strong battle to cancer.

I can’t pretend to have known Kris really well but what I do know is that she was a pillar of strength in her family, work and social communities and will be greatly missed by many.

My meetings with Kris were usually at her place of work – Wynnum Central Coles.

She always asked how I was doing and was genuinely interested in what was going on in my life and it feels like I just saw her the other day.

The last time I saw Kris, I was wondering around Coles, trying to choose food that would feed an army of sons, with very little money. Kris was empathetically laughing at me while she was packing Peppa Pig stock.

“Eden would love these, I should get her one,” she said.

Kris always leant an ear and helped out her fellow man (or woman) and it is for her beautiful family that I write this tribute. Thank you for sharing your sister/mother/grandmother with me because I appreciate knowing Kris.

Kris and James Gray (stolen from Facebook)

Happy 15th Birthday Dylan Ellis Abbott

Happy birthday my Nin Nin

I love you berry berry much

And you are my best friend and my best friend in the whole wide world.

Love Mummy Jape

Dylan and Joanie
Dylan and Joanie

Dylanliam1999 001
Proud brother Liam showing off his new baby

Frowny baby Dylan

Santa, Liam and Dylan, 1999
Santa, Liam and Dylan, 1999

Dylan and mummy
Dylan and mummy

2000 001
Dylan likes cake (notice the plate he is sitting on)

Gabriel Ellis, Dylan Ellis Abbott, Sam Watson, Don Gaffney

Dylan and his proud big brother Liam

Happy baby Dylan

Dylan and his mummy

Another happy baby photo of Dylan Ellis Abbott (with snot)

Dyl in bath

All dressed up for Jo
All dressed up for Joshua’s wedding

Liam and Dylan 2001
Liam and Dylan 2001

Dylan Abbott, Julie-Ann Ellis and Liam Clark @ Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Liam and Dylan 2001
Liam and Dylan 2001

Liam and Dylan 2002
Liam and Dylan 2002

Jamie Dover’s birthday at McDonalds. Liam Clark, Dylan Abbott and Caden Abbott.

Dylan and Ryan 2003
Dylan and Ryan 2003

Cute Dylan waving

Ryan's first birthday
Ryan’s first birthday

Dylan in water at Surfers Paradise

Dylan Ellis Abbott

“I am strong” Dylan Ellis Abbott

Prep year
Prep year

Dylan looks over fence

Dylan Year One
Dylan Year One

Dylan and family, 2003
Dylan and family, 2003

Liam Clark, Dylan Abbott, Craig Abbott and Claudia Anderson

Holiday fun at Elliott Heads – Cerys Lines, Ryan Abbott, Bryn Lines, Dylan Abbott and Liam Clark

Family camping at Elliott Heads – Liam Clark, Ryan Abbott, Dylan Abbott and Julie-Ann Ellis

Crazy brothers
Crazy brothers

Crazy friends – Dylan and Bryn

Dylan and Liam, Wynnum Central State School, 2007
Dylan and Liam, Wynnum Central State School, 2007

DylanRyan2005 001
Dylan and Ryan Fishing

Dylan2005 001

Dylan2005snake 001

Liam and Dylan 2006
Liam and Dylan 2006

Listening intently

Bucket heads

Dylan’s 10 birthday celebrations – Ryan Hassell, Dylan Abbott and ??

Bowling birthday fun – 10th birthday – Bryn Lines, Ryan Hassell, Dylan Abbott and ??

Dylan's10th birthday
Dylan (10) and Liam (15)

Dylan looking alot like Ryan looks now

Dylan Abbott, Will Macklin, Ryan Abbott, Liam Clark and Amber Macklin

A totem of children

Claudia Ellis and Dylan Abbott and we know who the other guys are

My beautiful son Dylan Ellis Abbott

Jason, Dylan, Ryan (going in for the pinch), Jet and Adam

Dylan in Joanie’s hospital bed

Ekka fun – back to front, left to right – Claudia Ellis, Liam Clark, Jaimie Dover, Dylan Abbott and Ryan Abbott

Spunky Dylan

Dylan at Island Vibe festival

Dylan at Island Vibe

Surfing at the Baywave Youth Festival

2008 001
Ryan, Dylan and Jaimie, Wynnum Central State School, 2008(?)

Santa, Liam, Ryan, Jaimie and Dylan, 2010
Santa, Liam, Ryan, Jaimie and Dylan, 2010

Ryan, Dylan and Jaimie, Wynnum Central State School, 2009
Ryan, Dylan and Jaimie, Wynnum Central State School, 2009

Dylan’s class at the party of the last day of Wynnum Central State School

Last day of Wynnum Central State School

Graffiti on mum

Dylan pondering

Playing in the rain – Dylan Ellis Abbott

Year Seven Graduation

Year seven graduation with classmates and principle

Last day of primary school, after accepting the “Good Citizen” award

Fun with uncle Calum, North Queensland

Calum, Dylan and Ryan, near Mission Beach

Recovering after Liam’s 18th

Jayden and Dylan looking cool

Group funny family photo – Abbott’s and Ellis’ alike

The nicest person I know…

Today is my personal opportunity to thank the nicest person I know for being a part of my life. This person (usually) thinks of me before he thinks of himself. He is caring, compassionate and extremely friendly.

He always helps around the house, he is fantastic with budgeting, he has a positive nature and he has kept me going on numerous occasions.

Although, this person is my son, he is still the nicest person I know.

Generosity, strength and happiness are Ryan Ellis Abbott.

Happy 12th Birthday Ryan.

I love you and thank you!

Australia Day 2010.
Australia Day 2010.

Benjamin Gabbett Gaffney

Courtesy of Sarah Finn.  Circa 1992
Courtesy of Sarah Finn. Circa 1992

30th December 1971 – 30th July 1992

A personal dedication to Sarah and all of my thirty five cousins (Gaffney’s and Ellis’), to my brother and sisters and Liam, Dylan and Ryan.
Today marks the twenty second death date of our special Benjamin, usually I don’t like to be so sombre but the recent death of the young motorbike rider, just up the road ( has resurrected many thoughts and feelings.
Benjamin died as a young twenty year old in a “bad accident” and I am taking this opportunity with you all to share and celebrate some of my moments with Ben.
To me, Ben was my older cousin, friend and mentor.
The last time I saw Ben, we borrowed my mum’s old car and went on a road trip to Toowoomba. I remember this trip clearly as it was my opportunity to get to know Benjamin a little better, one-on-one, as young adults (N.B. my younger brother Josh was with us too).
After the trip, Ben and I went to a friend of mine’s party, then we went bush-bashing, yes, in my mums’ car. Naively, I had never been bush-bashing before, I felt scared and thrilled all at the same time. Most of all, I just thought it was COOL that Ben wanted to hang out with me.
When I was in Year Eleven, I was very much a lost soul, Ben and Sarah helped me through a few teenage angst moments (and I will always be forever grateful). Ben and I also lived in the same house at Paddington (Nanna’s) for a short while. During one conversation, Ben asked how school was going, what am I studying and so forth, I asked him about an art assignment that I could not get my head around. Benjamin read it and came back the day later with an armful of resources for me.
The assignment was about Line, Rhythm, Shape/Line/Dominance, Proportion, Tone, Colour, and Contrast. Benjamin purchased a $5 copy of the Handbook of Art (1971. The Specialty Press Limited: North Clayton, Victoria.), from the old Patty’s book store at Paddington. He also had a made me a bound book of his own notes and comments on Line, Rhythm, Shape, etc.
I would like to share with you the remains of that bound book that Ben gave me, with reference to the Handbook of Art.
(To those of you that knew Ben, I hope you get a giggle out of his references and a thrill out of seeing his writing.)
I have also managed to dig up a piece of paper from the “Prayers of the Faithful” from Ben’s funeral:

Ben has touched many people’s hearts and I pray that these people reflect the peace and love that he wished for them.


(Written and spoken by me.)

Help us to learn gentleness and peace from Ben’s example.


(Written and not sure if spoken by Aunty Grace Watson.)

Ben you’ll always be, Forever Young.
To me you’ll be Forever Young.

Your smile will stay with me.
And ignite my dormant soul.

Free us from our earthly bonds.
With light guide or way to the stars.

Your peace gave us a sign.
May your peace leave us a sign.


(Written and not sure if spoken by John Ryan.)


The lone man

Two days ago, I was at home doing my housework and listening to the radio. The twelve o clock news revealed “a bad accident at Lota.” The idea of a “bad accident” made me shiver as I lost someone special to me twenty years ago to a “bad accident.”

Yesterday, I drove past the crash scene (just two hundred meters from my house) several times during the day. In the morning, I noticed a lone man just sitting there with his head down, I drove past again and the lone man was still there. In the afternoon, he was still sitting there.


I pulled over, got out of my car, walked over to him and said, “You don’t know me but I couldn’t help noticing that you are in pain. Can I hug you?”

The lone man said, “I just miss him so much.”

I hugged him and he wept (and of course I teared up as well).

After a few moments, the lone man said, “thank you very much, people in this neighborhood have been so kind to me.”

I told him that I know what he is going through and touched his shoulder and left him to his personal grief.

The lone man's grieving spot. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis
The lone man’s grieving spot.
Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

Queensland Police have stated:
Fatal Crash, Lota
July 23, 2014 at 9.56pm
A 26-year-old Robina man has died following a single vehicle crash earlier today.
At around 10.55am, police were called to the Esplanade at Lota following reports a motorcycle had lost control and crashed.
The man was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

For once, I was not thinking about myself or my little world. I don’t know if I made an impact on the lone man but I truly hope that eased his burden, if only for just a moment.