MH17: Kiwi passenger's last email to family

By Jane Nixon

British-born Kiwi, Robert Ayley, with his wife Sharlene.
British-born Kiwi, Robert Ayley, with his wife Sharlene.

The last words of a New Zealander who was killed on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were to tell his family he loved them.

Robert Ayley emailed his family just before getting on the flight in the Netherlands capital of Amsterdam, a few hours before the plane was shot down over the Ukraine.

"Right now, I'm just looking forward to seeing the boys and Sharlene. It's been a long, long journey," wrote Mr Ayley, in an email released today by his family.

"We've seen the world's greatest Rottweilers, we have established contacts, and made life long friends, but now I'm just ready to come home.

"I hope all is well, if we don't talk before hand, I will see you on Saturday. Lots of Love. Rob"

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His family issued a statement in which they spoke of his love for his widow Sharlene and their two young boys, aged 4 and 2.

"It was Rob's dream to bring the best of Europe blood lines into his breeding programme in New Zealand so that Rotweillers could once again be the noble and safe dogs they have the potential to be.

"Ayley was always passionate about life, there were no half measures. He was passionate about his family too. He found in his boys two little people he could love, understand and trust. When they cried they were sad, when they laughed they were happy and when they hugged it was because they loved him.

"He struggled to interpret body language and innuendo but he could understand his boys.

"Sharlene and Rob are soul mates. She is his 'princess.' She changed his life and he changed hers.

"She held his heart and he held hers. Rob will live forever in his family."


Robert Ayley's final email:

"So yes, here we are. Last day in Europe. My flight is at 12 tomorrow. Right now, I'm just looking forward to seeing the boys and Sharlene. It's been a long, long journey.

We've seen the world's greatest Rottweilers, we have established contacts, and made life long friends, but now I'm just ready to come home.

I hope all is well, if we don't talk before hand, I will see you on Saturday.

Lots of Love
Rob"

Watch: Tributes to passengers of Malaysian airliner

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