The memorial stone bench covered in a Japanese and Australian flag
The memorial stone bench covered in a Japanese and Australian flag Hamish Broome

VIDEO UPDATE: Remembering Tadashi’s life

TADASHI Nakahara has been remembered by friends, family and coworkers.

 

 

The poignant ceremony in honour of life, was punctuated by the arrival of a large contingent of staff from the Ramada Hotel in Ballina, who walked as a group on to Shelly Beach before being joined by Tadashi's parents.

Mr and Mrs Nakahara were visibly moved by the show of support those at the ceremony, which included representatives from local police, surf life saving, local MP Tamara Smith, Ballina mayor David Wright, and surfers at the scene of the attack.

 

Staff of the Ramada Ballina and Tadashi's family prepare to throw flowers to the ocean to celebrate Tadashi's memory
Staff of the Ramada Ballina and Tadashi's family prepare to throw flowers to the ocean to celebrate Tadashi's memory Hamish Broome

Mayor Wright said he hoped today's ceremony, which saw the unveiling of a stone bench in memory of the fallen surfer, brought "closure" for what had been a traumatic year for the Ballina community and Tadashi's friends and family.

After throwing flowers into the sea, Tadashi's parents took a moment to sit on the bench and reflect on the life of their son while looking out to the windswept ocean. 

Tadashi's mother also brought a can of his favourite Japanese drink and was visibly shaken after being greeted by another parent who had lost his son to a shark attack.

That parent was Kevin Young, the father of teenager Zac Young who lost his life two years ago while body boarding near Coffs Harbour. 

Mr Young - who came from Port Macquarie to be at the event - bowed to Tadashi's parents before warmly embracing them.

He later said he felt a bond with the Nakaharas because of their shared tragedies.

 

The memorial stone bench covered in a Japanese and Australian flag
The memorial stone bench covered in a Japanese and Australian flag Hamish Broome

"If they'd understand that someone loves them a little bit, it's a great day."

Also at the memorial was local Darren Rogers, who was surfing when Tadashi was attacked, and helped bring him in and performed CPR with other surfers prior to paramedics' arrival.

"The main think about today is it's about Tadashi and his family and doing the best we can to support them," Mr Rogers said.

Mr and Mrs Nakahara were joined at the ceremony by Tadashi's brothers Hiroki and Ken.

Cr Wright said the memorial seat is expected to have a plaque installed to honour both Tadashi's life and the efforts of those who tried to save him on the day of the attack.



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