BIG WEEK: Byron Bay Youth Service Street Crew facilitator Deborah Pearse believes adults should follow the lead of young mourners at Jai Morcom’s memorial service in Mullumbimby today.
BIG WEEK: Byron Bay Youth Service Street Crew facilitator Deborah Pearse believes adults should follow the lead of young mourners at Jai Morcom’s memorial service in Mullumbimby today. JAY CRONAN

Interest flying for Jai's memorial

AS THE Byron Shire community gathers at Heritage Park in Mullumbimby today to mourn the tragic loss of Jai Morcom, balloons are expected to be displayed from letterboxes across the country in a national outpouring of grief.

As the nation struggles to come to terms with Jai's death after a schoolyard fight eight days ago, thousands are expected to attend today's memorial.

Byron Youth Service worker Deborah Pearse has been counselling young people all week and believes adults would do well to follow the lead of the young mourners.

“These kids are very, very good at these rituals,” she said.

“Really, we need to allow them to do this and provide the means for them to achieve it.

“It will be a very moving celebration.

“They know how to make it about the person, how to make it incredibly personal and poignant through their music, their art and their words, which is not an easy thing to do.

“From my experience if those kids really affected can find a way to express their feelings they'll run into far less problems down the track.

“As difficult a week as it has been, I have been deeply moved.

“The visual ways they've demonstrated their grief has been amazing, like the spontaneous mural at the school and another planned at Mullumbimby Cottage, and full credit certainly goes to Danyon Saxe-Wilson for the balloon tribute,” Ms Pearse said.

Danyon, a Mullumbimby High student, suggested the idea on Monday as a way to celebrate Jai's life and send a message of peace.

The idea has spread quickly through the country and mentioned in State Parliament this week by Ballina MP Don Page.

Mr Page said he had received much positive feedback concerning the balloon tribute and a lot of expressions of grief from MPs on both sides of the house.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minster told The Northern Star yesterday it was a tragic event.

The celebration of Jai's life will be held at 11am in Heritage Park, Mullumbimby.

ARE YOU DISPLAYING A BALLOON FOR JAI? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948


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