A world away from the frantic scenes at Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, two Brisbane families prayed for hope.
Close friends Rodney and Mary Burrows and Bob and Cathy Lawton were on Flight MH370 headed to the Chinese capital.
It was to be an adventure – both couples seemingly moving into the next phase of their life, their children having grown up and started families of their own, their working lives beginning to wind down.
Mr Burrows was a long-term employee of energy company Energex. He had accepted a redundancy in the past two years.
At Cathy and Bob Lawton’s neat Springfield Lakes home on Sunday, an estate so new Google Maps is only just catching up, rose bushes have been lovingly cultivated and a sign welcoming grandchildren to ”Nanny and Poppy’s”, ”where memories are made and grandchildren are spoilt” hangs on the front porch.
A lone bunch of flowers sat under it on Sunday afternoon.
Rodney and Mary Burrows had recently sold their Middle Park home, as they were ready to downsize and enjoy some travel. Fairfax Media understands they were staying with their adult children and grandchildren in Sinnamon Park, a suburb about 20 minutes away from their former home.
On Sunday, family and friends had gathered inside the Sinnamon Park home.
Young couples could be seen on the front lawn embracing each other, but no one wanted to talk.
Neighbours said that one of the children was having a birthday party, a long planned event.
”I don’t really know them,” one said.”But I guess you’d want normality.”
New phase: Catherine and Robert Lawton of Springfield Lakes with their grandchildren. Photo: Facebook
Travel after redundancy: Mary and Rodney Burrows from Brisbane. Photo: Supplied
On Sunday night the familyof Cathy and Bob Lawtonreleased a statement through Queensland police thanking the Australian public for their well wishes and prayers.
“Our family is at present trying to come to terms with this terrible tragedy of the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370.”
“Our family’s hearts go out to all of the 239 passengers, crew and their families on board this flight. The family understands there is an extensive search and rescue operation being undertaken.”
“Although best efforts from all the family members are trying to remain positive for any hope of survivors, we are bracing ourselves for the worse possible outcome.”
“Cathy and Bob are very much loved by their family, extended families and friends.”