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Pic of the week: Poignant tribute to tragic newlyweds

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 31/10/2015

Our picture of the week
Our picture of the week

British Consulate representative Jackie Barclay and Ilize Jacobs, of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, attach a floral tribute to a wooden cross in the sand of Robberg Beach, South Africa, on Thursday.

The cross and flowers pay tribute to newlyweds John and Lynette Rodgers, from Co Down, whose bodies were discovered on the beach on October 23.

Both had tragically drowned after being caught in a riptide while swimming on their South African honeymoon. Their bodies were discovered just 200 metres apart.

They had been married just six days earlier and the inspiration for the flowers placed at their memorial came from pictures of Lynette's wedding bouquet.

Also in attendance at the silent memorial service were members of the South African National Sea Rescue Institute, including lifeguard Brad Thomas, who arrived first at the scene and tried desperately to revive John and Lynette.

The couple's families released a joint statement describing their shock and devastation at the tragedy.

Friends and family will gather to say their final farewells at the couple's joint funeral on Monday at First Holywood Presbyterian Church - the same church where they exchanged their vows on October 17.

Their bodies were flown home yesterday after post-mortem examinations were carried out.

John Rodgers (28) was originally from Ballygowan and worked for Calvert Office Equipment in Belfast. Lynette (26) was a physiotherapist at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

Books of condolence have been opened at Holywood Library and Ards Arts Centre and scores of people in the local communities have left their sympathies.

Lynette's colleagues at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are planning a floral tribute of their own in memory of their friend.

Belfast Telegraph

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