Wellington Scoop

Memorial service for Otaki man who died in Ukraine plane crash

The family of Otaki man Rob Ayley, who died in last week’s Malaysia Airlines crash in the Ukraine, are today organising a memorial service in Wellington for him.

In a statement released this morning by the police, the family have asked that media do not approach them as they arrive or depart from the service. They have also asked that his children are not filmed or photographed. The family say they will not be available for interviews at the service.

Statement released by NZ Police
The family of Rob Ayley would like to thank the media for treating Rob’s story with dignity and respecting our privacy and boundaries.

Today, we are gathering with friends and family to celebrate Rob’s life. The service will be held at the church where we have worshipped as a family for 17 years. Rob played drums there on a Sunday over time with bright blue hair, dreds, a cheeky smile and at times a teenage attitude. He thought nothing of dropping his drum sticks at quiet poingnant moments in the services but brought a new energy to the worship.

Rob was a vibrant young man. He had a great sense of family and although he was only 2 when we emigrated, he always had a sense of belonging to his English family as well as his kiwi one. So it was a great joy to him that he fathered two beautiful boys who are so like him in many ways but also have a lovely balance with their Mum’s genes as well!

Rob lives on in his family, in his boys and in the many memories we all have of him. He wasn’t a saint, he was no-one important. His death is no more tragic than that of anyone who dies. Death is always a separation from the one’s we love and sadness always follows. The circumstances of Robs death are unique as Rob was unique but beneath it all he was a happy man who loved life and did what he could to make others happy too.

Remember Rob, if you do, as an ordinary chap who ultimately achieved some amazing things which shows we should never assume someones abilities but let them dream dreams and some may come true.

God bless our son. Thank you New Zealand for caring.

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the future for Rob’s two little boys this would of course be very gratefully received. We have set up a Trust Fund and donations may be made to at the Westpac Bank.