Brave wait for surf hero's family
By Alex Easton and Mary Mann
PAUL LE BARS has spent a difficult few months putting together the submission he hopes will earn his son a posthumous bravery award.
Joshua Parker-Le Bars lost his life saving two family members from drowning on the Gold Coast last year.
Mr Le Bars will now have to wait up to two years for the Australian Honours Secretariat to confirm the award. He said he understood the awards process was lengthy, but hoped it could be fast-tracked to help provide the family with some closure on Joshua's death.
"It has had a devastating effect on the family. We were just getting over the loss of our eldest son, Marcel, who died in 2002.
"Joshua was just getting back on track. He really looked up to his big brother and was so proud of him.
"When Joshua died he was just settling down with his family he had a beautiful little girl and had just bought a house. He was working three jobs to pay the mortgage.
"He was very busy, but he always had time for his family and his beautiful little girl, Panama Pearl.
"They were attached at the hip. He was the proudest father and having her put a bit more sense into life for him, to cope with the death of Marcel."
The Northern Star is campaigning for Joshua's bravery award, lodging a nomination six weeks ago, backed by letters of support from Northern Rivers residents.
Government House yesterday confirmed Joshua's nomination had been received and was being processed. However, a spokesperson was unable to say how far along in the process it was.
Joshua was very well regarded in the local community. He went to school at Nimbin Central and grew up at Tuntable Falls.