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Out of sadness comes joy for local family

By BRUCE MORRIS

IT'S a warm snapshot like a thousand others in Coffs Coast family albums: a mother and her first born ? fragile child with a happy, proud mum. But behind this picture of contentment lies a story of great sadness about a dad who died before his child was born. The baby is Luka William Reid, now barely two months old, and shown here in the arms of young mum, Sarah. Teacher Colin Reid, Luka's dad, collapsed at his wife's side on June 25 at a gathering at the Plantation Hotel to celebrate the impending arrival of little Luka. The couple were on the dancefloor when Mr Reid suffered heart failure. Colleagues from St Francis Xavier Primary School at Woolgoolga, where he taught, and other friends, watched in distress as Mrs Reid, a nurse, worked to save his life. Ambulance officers and hospital staff took over the battle, but Mr Reid died that night at Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Mr Reid was a fine young teacher, much loved at his school, and his loss was mourned by the wider community. "He was well-known for his joviality, integrity and compassion," Francis Xavier principal Sister Margaret Bannon said. "He had the rare gift of being able to connect with parents, children and friends with confidence and interest. "Colin really enabled children to develop to their full potential. He loved his profession as a teacher and he allowed our school to shine." A little more than three weeks after Mr Reid died, happiness returned to Sarah's life when Luka was born. This photograph was provided to the Coffs Coast Advocate by Sarah's family, along with a tribute to Colin ? and grateful thanks to those who have helped to make such a sad time more bearable. The statement notes that Luka ? born at 7.11pm, on July 18, and weighing 8lb 15oz, or 4.075kg ? is giving the family 'wonderful joy'. Luka is a 'strong, happy, healthy and placid' baby. Colin and Sarah were married on January 23, 1999, at St Agnes Catholic Church, Port Macquarie. His parents, Bill and Rose Reid, live at Sancrox. Sarah Reid (nee Donovan) is the daughter of Gaylene n To Page 2



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