Tribute to two young larrikins
A small, hand-written note taped to the tree at the scene where two Grafton men were killed early Sunday tells the tragic story of lives taken all too soon.
Nathan Chapman, 21, and Kyle Clifford, 18, died when the Holden Barina they were travelling in left the road and crashed into a tree on Bacon Street about 12.55am.
Chapman, the driver, was thrown from the car, while his passenger, Clifford, was trapped in the wreckage. Both died at the scene.
Yesterday, bunches of flowers, cards, notes and a candle placed at the tree’s base served as a memorial to the two men. A brightly-coloured t-shirt, thongs and beer bottles and cans recognised the larrikin side to their nature.
A succession of cars – many of them displaying P-plates – paused day-long at the site, as people paid their respects and attempted to come to terms with the loss.
The big smile, wild outfits and humour of Nathan ‘Chappo’ Chapman were remembered on Facebook yesterday by friends, teachers and others who had met him.
Memories of times spent at Minnie Water and Nathan’s infamous water-bomb fights filled the ‘Chappos Memorium’ wall, alongside photos of the young man.
“We always loved seeing you riding your pushbike down to the beach at Minnie, face covered in zinc, carrying the surfboard and that fantastic smile and big wave as you rode by,” wrote Dennis Erold McLachlan.
Axel Kay also remembered Nathan’s broad grin. “Your (sic) were always smiling mate. You will never be forgotten.”
Kyle Clifford’s talent for making people laugh was remembered on his Facebook tribute page.
Hundreds of comments from many friends were listed, virtually all referring to his fun-loving nature.
“From way back at pre-school you were always the kid with the biggest smile and the one who wore it the most often,” wrote Kara Sutherland.
Chris Munro described Kyle as ‘a real entertainer’. “You made everyone smile just for the sake of it,” he wrote.
Maddi Williams said she would never forget his ‘awesome personality’ while Ally Strain wrote of her shock: “I can’t believe the craziest most funniest person I have ever met is gone.”