Katie’s 40th Birthday Commemoration Service

Katie’s 40th Birthday Commemoration Service

On 31st January 2009 Katie was 30 – she was so excited at reaching this milestone in her life and organised a big party to celebrate with all her friends, in the meantime, Richard proposed to her and the party became a joint birthday and engagement party. The excitement carried on to her wedding in the December of that year, Christmas, her honeymoon and her 31st birthday (the last time we saw her). She was the happiest she had ever been and then on the 18th February 2010 carbon monoxide – the silent killer – prevented her from ever being able to enjoy any other celebrations and robbed us of our beloved daughter.

This year, like many of her peers, Katie would have been forty and we know she would have been celebrating in style. As her family, we wanted to acknowledge this important day for her by holding a church service to commemorate her birthday, while also using the occasion as an opportunity to let people know what The Katie Haines Memorial Trust has achieved in her name since her death in raising carbon monoxide awareness. Katie is buried in the little cemetery behind St Mary’s Church, Fairford, a place where we had experienced one of our happiest times with her at her fairytale wedding to Richard and also the worst time a few months later when we said goodbye to our beautiful child at her funeral, but we knew we had to hold the service at St Mary’s – a place she knew and where we feel she is near.

We are so grateful that so many family and friends were able to join us on this special day, and were also pleased to welcome many industry stakeholders – Chris Bielby, MBE, Director of Stakeholder Liaison, SGN and also Chairman, Gas Safety Trust; Ashley Martin of ROSPA; Sarah Hills of Gas Safe Register; Paul Durose of GasTag, Adrian Keats of Honeywell and Rob Lyon of Playfair Marketing Ltd.

We feel it was a very fitting service for such a beautiful person. The service was conducted by The Reverend Caroline Symcox and began with Westlife’s I’ll See You Again. The Choir, arranged by Mhairi Ellis, then sang a wonderful version of Smile.Katie’s lovely, wide smile can be seen in so many of her photos and is something that those who knew her will always remember. The Choir also sang The Lord’s my Shepherd and Ave Maria – music much loved by Katie from mass at St Aidan’s, Coulsdon, to songs she sang at home such as More Than Words (which she used to sing with her brother Adam), My Girl which her father Gordon used to embarrassingly sing to both his little girls and Till There Was You (Katie loved The Beatles!). Lincoln, Katie’s cousin, read from Jeremiah and her school friend Nicola read I Miss You, by A F Harrold.

Reverend Caroline spoke eloquently about Katie, about loss and how the work of the Trust had been a positive way of moving forward following such a tragedy.

Photography by Mark Day – The Bridge Photography