Memories to cherish

2014-07-25 00:00

THE widow of Cameron Dalziel (43), who died in the Malaysian Airlines crash, has no regrets about the family’s move to Malaysia.

“Reine says the memories of their time in Malaysia will be ‘forever cherished’,” said her brother-in-law Campbell Dalziel.

Dalziel, a helicopter pilot, was returning home to Malaysia where he moved with his family last year to fly rig crews and emergency operations, when the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine last Thursday. He had been on a fixed-wing airplane training course in the Netherlands.

When living in South Africa Dalziel was often away from home on long-distance jobs.

Campbell said that moving to Malaysia saw Cameron, his wife and their two sons, Sheldon (14) and Cruz (four), come together as a family unit. “Reine said they could all spend time together. Cameron was able to come home at night, and see what his sons were doing at school.”

Bodies from the crash site in the Ukraine have been flown to the Netherlands but it is not known as yet whether Dalziel’s body has been identified. “We are waiting to hear,” said Campbell Dalziel.

On Monday, DNA swabs were taken from Dalziel’s parents, Meryl and Doug, to aid in identifying his body. South African officials flew to the Netherlands on Tuesday with the swabs and Dalziel’s dental records.

In the meantime, the Dalziel family are going ahead with a memorial service for Cameron to be held next Thursday at Virginia Airport at 10 am in the Starlight Aviation Hangar.

A special “paddle out” in honour of Dalziel, a keen surfer and body-boarder, will happen at a later date. “We don’t know whether my brother’s remains will come back in two weeks or two months,” said Dalziel. “But we felt we should do something now.”

“It’s been a rollercoaster,” said Dalziel. “We are grieving as a family. There are not enough tears, not enough words … there’s silence.”

Campbell said the ceremonies that accompanied the arrival of the remains in Amsterdam, which the Dalziel family watched on television at their Umhlanga home, “really did justice to the victims and showed great respect. It returned my faith in the goodness of humanity. It brought my mum to tears. When we saw the crowds lining the streets we were so moved. They didn’t know my brother. I know people from Netherlands died, but these people were there for everyone.”

Dalziel said there was no truth in the reported story that his brother’s credit cards had been used after the crash.

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