08 June 2005

Only fond memories of shark attack victim remain

Family and friends will be sharing their memories at a memorial service on Thursday for shark attack victim Henri Murray, who was taken by a Great White near Miller's Point.

Relatives and friends will gather at the Dutch Reformed Church in Stellenbosch.

Murray's father, George Murray, said on Monday that he and his four remaining sons would each deliver a tribute to Henri during the service.

"We don't have anything to bury or cremate, so it will really just be a bunch of people who were close to Henri talking about his life, what he meant to us, and hopefully we will have some sort of closure after all this," he said.

The Murray family is originally from Vanderbijlpark in Johannesburg and on Monday they were making arrangements for the domestic worker who used to look after Henri as a child to make the trip to Cape Town.

"The woman who helped us raise Henri is not in Cape Town so we are waiting for her to arrive, as she was very attached to Henri and is really like his second mother," George Murray said.

Henri Murray was spearfishing on Saturday with best friend Piet van Niekerk when the shark took him in its jaws and disappeared.

Van Niekerk shot the shark to save his friend but his efforts were in vain.

Both Van Niekerk and Murray were fifth-year medical students at Stellenbosch University.

On Monday night Van Niekerk and some of Henri Murray's friends and housemates at the Hippokrates residence at Tygerberg Hospital had a small get-together at the residence.

The Hippokrates house father, Nelis Swart, said the Bible study group in the residence was giving Van Niekerk an opportunity to talk about his feelings in a supportive environment.

"We hope that with the help of professional counsellors, Henri's friends and especially Piet will be able to deal with what has happened," he said.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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