The Clarence Valley mourns the loss of two respected figures, Sue and Jeremy Challacombe.
The Clarence Valley mourns the loss of two respected figures, Sue and Jeremy Challacombe.

Tributes roll in for the Challacombes

TRIBUTES have rolled in for Sue and Jeremy Challacombe, after they were tragically killed in a car crash on Monday.

Please feel free to write you own messages in the comment space provided.


Bishop Richard Hurford

TO HAVE been a part of Jeremy and Sue Challacombe's lives has been an absolute privilege for Right Reverend Richard Hurford.

Rev Hurford had a long-running relationship with the Challacombes, which started when he first encountered the family through the Pelican Playhouse when he was a junior member of the Christ Church Cathedral in 1968.

"My wife, Christine, and I have enjoyed a continuing friendship with the family over many years since," he said.

"Such a confronting and tragic loss in the death of Jeremy and Sue is hard to bear.

"They have been huge contributors to community in the Clarence Valley and beyond, and they were great ambassadors for Grafton as well as loving parents and grandparents.

"It has been my privilege to have shared their journey."


Tim Grosser

THE loss of the Sue and Jeremy Challacombe would leave a huge hole in the community, former Clarence Valley Anglican School principal Tim Grosser said.

Sue taught at the school for 10 years and Jeremy was chairman of the CVAS school council from 2004 to 2008.

"In the words of Casey, they loved our school," Mr Grosser said.

"They were heavily involved for such a long period of time, volunteering their time to do things involved with agriculture in the school.

"One of our main awards at Clarence Valley Anglican School is the Jeremy Challacombe Award, given to the most outstanding student each year.

"It'll leave a huge hole in not only the school community, but the Clarence Valley and wider region.

"It's a tremendous loss and our thoughts and prayers are with their children and families at this time.

"They were supporters of me as a first-time principal and good friends.

"They loved their rugby, loved their cricket, and were really good people."


Steve Cansdell

FORMER Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell described the death of Jeremy and Sue Challacombe as a tragedy.

Mr Cansdell said Mr Challacombe was a staunch member of the Nationals, who put his heart and soul into every aspect of the organisation.

"When I first stood for Clarence, he was the chairman of the Nationals Clarence Electorate Council," he said.

"Whether he was attending meetings or setting up booths, he was always there."

Despite his commitment to the party, Mr Cansdell said Mr Challacombe was foremost a community member.

"Jeremy was no political animal," he said. "When the Government downsized the Grafton Jail in 2012, he spoke out against what the Government was doing to his community."

Mr Cansdell said no one should forget the role Mrs Challacombe played.

"They were together in just about everything they did, they were inseparable," he said.

"Whenever there was something on, Sue would be there too with Jeremy working with him and supporting him.

"It's tragic that they went together, but in a way it is sort of fitting as well.

"I don't know what the one would have done without the other."


Chris Gulaptis

CLARENCE Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the passing of Grafton community leaders Jeremy and Sue Challacombe was a tragedy for the Clarence Valley and a deep personal loss for him and his wife Vicki.

"(They) were great and loyal friends who have been taken well before their time," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Jeremy proved his popularity when he was easily elected to Clarence Valley Council, where he brought the Challacombe values of commonsense and fairness. He was also a strong and well-known community and business leader in Grafton, and led our local Chamber of Commerce with distinction.

"Sue was the stalwart of the family and was heavily involved in education at the Clarence Valley Anglican School. She was a tremendous support to Jeremy and they always worked as a team.

"The Challacombes were great farmers and produced the sweetest strawberries anywhere.

"Vicki, I, my staff and all the local Nationals family are devastated. We will miss them dearly and our prayers and sympathies are with their family."


Kevin Hogan

"My thoughts are very much with the Challacombe children and their family today. Jeremy and Sue were good community people. I will miss them and I know the community will too."

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