Triple Funeral Held for Family Killed In White Island Volcano As Son Watches From Hospital
Three members of a Sydney family killed in the White Island volcano tragedy in New Zealand have been farewelled at an emotional memorial service on Monday.
Anthony Langford, his wife Kristine and their two children Winona and Jesse were travelling on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship and were on the volcano when it erupted earlier this month.
Anthony and Kristine were both killed in the tragedy, along with their daughter Winona, who was just 17.
Winona's body was never recovered from the island and authorities now believe it was swept into the sea following the eruption, and will likely never be found.
Winona's older brother Jesse, 19, survived the blast and is being treated in Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital for serious burns.
On Monday, he watched the funeral for his entire immediate family via video link from his hospital bed.
A message read out on Jesse's behalf was shared with the hundreds of mourners who gathered at the service in a school auditorium in Sydney's north.
A memorial booklet at the service described the family as "wonderful".
In it, Winona was remembered for her love of music and animals, including as being a member of her school band.
Winona, whose body has not been recovered, was remembered as a vibrant teen with a love for music and animals.
"She was a member of the (Willoughby Girls High) school band and played the flute, taking huge delight when the band toured the USA in 2016," the memorial booklet read.
"She was very keen to have a career in special effects makeup and attended TAFE once a week for training."
Kristine, or Kris to her friends and family, was a loving mother with a passion for the outdoors.
"Kris was a very active person and walked Gypsy the family dog every day, and enjoyed bike riding. Her family and friends meant everything to Kristine."
Anthony was remembered as a dedicated family man who loved boating and travelling.
"He embraced the present, while his diligence and work ethic ensured his family's future," the memorial booklet read.
Hundreds gathered for the service on Monday morning, including dozens of schoolmates and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Mourners lined the road, with many in tears as the hearse carrying the bodies of Anthony and Kristine was driven out of the grounds.
The Langfords were among several Australians killed in the tragedy earlier this month.
Krystal Browitt, 21, was on the volcano with her father and sister when the eruption occurred. The Melbourne woman was the first victim to be formally identified. Her father survived the eruption and was flown back to Melbourne for treatment. Krystal's sister, Stephanie, is understood to remain in a coma in New Zealand. Her mum, who stayed on the cruise ship on the day, is reportedly by her hospital bedside.
The Hollander family, also from Sydney, were also killed in the tragedy at White Island. School students Ben and Matthew, were confirmed to have died in hospital via a statement from their school Knox Grammar. Their parents, Martin and Barbara were also killed in the tragedy.
Julie and Jessica Richards, a mother and daughter from Brisbane, were also confirmed to have died.
Adelaide man Gavin Dallow and his 15-year-old step-daughter Zoe Hosking, were also killed in the tragedy. Zoe's mum, Lisa, survived the eruption and was later flown back to Australia in a critical condition.
Gavin's father read out an emotional statement to media after confirmation of his son's death saying he was a wonderful son and brother.
Richard Elzer and Karla Mathews were also killed in the tragedy and their bodies were believed to have been on the island for several days before they could be retrieved. They, alongside their friend Jason Griffiths, were part of a group of friends travelling to the island when the tragedy occurred.
Jason, from Coffs Harbour in NSW, later died in a New Zealand hospital from his injuries. In a statement his friends said from the moment he was rescued "until the moment of his passing, Jason was surrounded by friends and family members."
The death toll of the tragedy is 17, with many of the injured still recovering in hospital.