Durban - Tears and emotion filled a Virginia Airport hangar on Thursday morning as friends and family of Durban pilot Cameron Dalziel, who was killed when a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over the Ukraine two weeks ago, poured their hearts out in his memory.
Some read tributes, others poems, and all the while images of the man they called a “beloved son, brother, father, husband, uncle, cousin, nephew, friend, pilot, surfer, hero, legend” were screened on a slide show. Other photographs of Dalziel, some with his wife and sons, were dotted around the stage.
Moving songs, such as The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, resounded through the Starlite Aviation hangar, which was packed with hundreds of people.
Dalziel’s wife Reine, and sons Cruz, 4, and Sheldon, 14, could not hold back their tears.
His brother, Campbell, overcome with grief, told how much his brother had loved his wife and children, and how proud he was of his sons.
Speaking afterwards Campbell said the family missed Dalziel immensely and the memorial service had been difficult for them. However, he believed it was a step in the right direction towards closure.
“The wound will heal, but there will always be a big scar that will never ever go away…
“We are happy we had the memorial service and it is part of the healing process.”
Campbell said the past two weeks had been difficult and stressful for him and that he could not even bring himself to look at photographs.
“But I knew I had to step up, as my brother would have told me to.”
With his brother being a pilot, Campbell said he had always accepted that he might get a call one day informing him that something had happened to Cameron, but he never imagined it would happen the way it did.
“There is such devastation.
“I want the world to know my brother’s story. I want everyone to see what this has taken away from us and the other families, and to see what they have left behind.
“We send our condolences to the other families of those on MH17 and our wishes. We know what they are going through.”
The family is now awaiting news on whether Dalziel’s remains will be sent back to South Africa, as they want to hold a small church service for him and then paddle out to sea and scatter his ashes.
Even if the remains were not released, Campbell said they would still paddle out in his brother’s memory.
“My brother loved the ocean, so it’s the obvious thing to do,” he said.