Caring community helps Hannah's family cope with their loss

Amy, Diane and Hannah McMurtrie on Hannah's 19th birthday.
Amy, Diane and Hannah McMurtrie on Hannah's 19th birthday.

HANNAH McMurtrie had a presence that would light up the room. She was known as a kind-hearted, happy soul, with a passion for life.

Hannah was only 19 when she died in a car accident at Killawarra, in March this year.

Her loss has left her family shattered and a community in mourning. She is survived by her parents, Graeme and Diane, her younger sister Amy, her older brother Todd and her partner Matt McGuire.

As a tribute to Hannah's life and a fundraiser for her family, Amy's closest friend, Courtney Whitton has organised an event in her honour, to be held at the Taree West Bowling Club on June 15, from 5.30pm until 10pm.

'Hannah's Day' will include great entertainment by Jake Davey, Alex and Morgan Sheather, local Gymaroos Chelsea and Bryce and a trio of local dancers. There will also be face painting, a guessing competition, a raffle and a lucky door prize.

Hannah's parents Graeme and Diane said their whole family have received incredible support throughout this difficult time.

"Hannah loved people unconditionally and was well loved in return," Diane said.

"That love has now come back to us in the form of support from the community.

"You don't realise how incredible this community really is until something like this happens. I would hate to live in the city where Hannah would just be another statistic," Diane said.

The day before Hannah died, she received the news she'd been hoping for she had been accepted into a Bachelor of Primary Teaching at Newcastle University.

"Hannah was passionate about helping young people.

"On the morning of the day she died, she told me she believed we need to get the little ones early and give them as much love as possible. Hannah believed in the importance of education, particularly for young disadvantaged kids," Diane said.

Hannah loved music, played guitar and composed her own songs.

She loved the bush and took any chance she could to go for a four wheel drive or motorbike ride.

"She had no fear. Nothing fazed her. She was always smiling, even when she was down.

"Her favourite places to go were Potoroo Falls and the lookout at Upper Lansdowne," Diane said.

Diane said the Hannah's Day event has given them something to look forward to and they are greatly humbled by the amount of love that has gone into its planning.

"Courtney is organising the whole thing. She is one of Amy's closest friends and she loved Hannah.

"Amy and Courtney are both doing their HSC (Higher School Certificate) at Taree Christian College this year and Amy works part time too, but she's somehow found the time to do this.

She said to me, 'I just can't sit back and do nothing. I have to do this for her.' It's amazing," Diane said.

Courtney hopes the event will demonstrate the community's support for the McMurtie family and show them how much Hannah was loved.

"I hope people come along and support the McMurtrie family. This has been a very difficult time for them emotionally and financially," Courtney said.

The cost for the event is $5 per person or $10 per family. For more information contact Courtney on 0413 058 258 or Karen on 0428 537 637.