Coraki couple remembered by 700 with affection and tears
THE LIVES of a much loved young Coraki couple were celebrated by more than 700 people from the Coraki and Lismore districts yesterday morning.
Ryan William Battese, 27, and Tamara Lee Mavir, 23, were remembered for their vivaciousness, sense of adventure, loyalty and care for their friends and family.
The couple died suddenly and tragically two weeks ago in a car crash just outside of Darwin, prompting an enormous outpouring of grief from their tight-knit community.
While they had recently moved to the Northern Territory to build a life together, they always called Coraki home.
Family of Ms Mavir told of how she was baptised in Coraki and attended pre-school there before the family relocated to Inverell and then Orange for several years, then returning to Coraki briefly before moving to Queensland.
Ms Mavir was "adamant that she was going to return to Coraki one day", and did so after leaving school where she lived in Lismore and began her relationship with Mr Battese.
Adored for her contagious smile and cheekiness, she "lived life to the fullest" and wasn't afraid to be the life of the party.
A letter read aloud from a friend described Tamara as an "adventurous spirit… who radiated joy and kindness".
One of Ms Mavir's three sisters thanked her for being "the most incredible sister and friend I could have asked for".
Mr Battese was remembered in an uplifting tribute his uncle David Battese, who touched on the 27-year-old's achievements in work, in sport, and in his love for his family.
Born and bred in Coraki, Mr Battese attended Coraki Public School and Lismore High.
Known affectionately from a young age as "Wally", he followed the town tradition of playing hockey and was an accomplished striker.
After finishing school, starting as a labourer he became a qualified carpenter and eventually a leading hand, working alongside his father at some major Queensland construction projects with big construction firms Laing O'Rourke and John Holland.
His uncle said he was known for his exacting standards on any job great or small.
"It was common knowledge that if you want something done right and on time, then having Ryan or his father on the job was an essential recipe," Mr Battese said.
"He loved learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge."
Among other passions he also loved fishing, fixing old cars, playing his acoustic guitar, and cooking, and especially his family.
Mr Battese recalled Ryan saying how much he loved his family while spending a special two days with him fishing.
"He always felt the need to protect his big sister and little brother," Mr Battese said.
His sister recalled him being intelligent, creative, and always the life of the party.
Ryan had recently moved to Darwin to work for a concreting firm and the couple had begun planning a long-term life in the Territory.
Coraki celebrant Warren Jacobsen said friends and family of the couple would feel conflicting emotions of shock, sorrow, unfairness, even anger, at losing their loved ones so unexpectedly.
But he reminded people that nothing could detract from the joy and beauty of their memories, and the couple would become "immortal" because no one would forget them.