Brave son given hometown farewell
THE streets of Kingscliff were silent yesterday as the body of Sapper Rowan Robinson returned to his childhood home for the last time.
A Requiem Mass was held in St Anthony’s Catholic Church for Sapper Robinson, who was farewelled by his parents Marie and Peter, sisterRachael and brothers Ben and Troy.
There was standing room only in the packed church as his family, friends, fellow soldiers and community members arrived to pay their respects.
Sapper Robinson’s father spoke about his son’s bravery and his ability to light up a room with his smile and charisma.
He also remembered fondly his son’s devotion to his family, even going so far as to organise flowers for Mother’s Day when he was thousands of miles away serving his country.
Words of attribute were also offered by the commanding officer of the Incident Response Unit.
“To us in the unit he was exceptional,” he said.
Members of Sapper Robinson’s unit affectingly referred to him as “Robbo” and commended his bravery.
“The reason we could go to horrible areas was because you went there first,” they said.
“You were a true brother in arms.
“Lest we Forget.”
At the conclusion of the service the Last Post played and the congregation reflected with a minute of silence.
The Australian National Anthem was sung with pride as the coffin of Sapper Robinson was carried from the church followed by his family.
Close family and friends then attended a cremation ceremony at Melaleuca Station.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott travelled to Kingscliff to attend the service.
The 23-year-old Combat Engineer was killed during a small-arms engagement with insurgents in southern Afghanistan on Monday, June 6.
He was part of an Afghan National Police and Special Operations Task Group patrol when they uncovered one of the largest insurgent weapons caches found by Australian Special Forces this year.
In lieu of flowers, the Robinson family has asked that people donate in Rowan’s honour to the Sapper Rowan Robinson Memorial Fund as part of the Commando Welfare Trust.