Editorial: Crash tragedy will be overcome

By Abigail Hartevelt


Some people may wonder why a group of people trying to serve a poorer nation would suffer what they did last week.

Many of you, I'm sure, have felt a deep sense of sadness for the families of the group of 19 who were involved in the crash in Kenya on Tuesday.

A van rolled in heavy rain and ended up in a ditch, killing Tauranga couple Brian and Grace Johnston, former Bethlehem College student Caitlin Dickson and their Kenyan driver.

A teacher at Rotorua's Chapman College, Gemma Tong was in the crash and suffered a broken arm. Others in the van suffered various injuries.

How do you explain why a couple like the Johnstons, who had given so much, were taken, leaving behind 10 children who are now orphans?

Or why a girl as young as Caitlin Dickson, who was just starting her adult life, was taken?

Others who were in the van have spoken of wondering why they were spared.

We may never know the answers but one thing I know is that Bethlehem College and Rotorua's Chapman College will make sure something positive comes out of what has been such a tremendous loss for such a tight community.

I've visited Bethlehem College and have met the founding principal Graham Preston, who is now the principal of Chapman College, a few times.

Mr Preston, and from what I've read, the current principal of Bethlehem College, Eoin Crosbie, appear very strong characters who will weather this storm and lead by example, ensuring that all of those affected by the Kenyan crash will get the help they need.

While there is a lot of grieving to be done, I have no doubt that the schools will ensure they learn something from this and turn this tragedy around - somehow - for good.

We as a paper would wish them the very best in what will be a difficult road ahead.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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