Parents of shark attack victim overwhelmed by kind words


Rebecca Cole

THE parents of a man killed by a shark have been overwhelmed by kindness and generosity.

Bryan and Marie Wilcox, of Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, said they could never have anticipated how much support they would receive from the community in the wake of the tragic loss of Paul, who was killed in an attack off the coast of Australia in September.

From old friends to complete strangers, the couple have been inundated with visitors keen to show their respects and share their memories of a man described as “loving” and “an adventurer” who had a passion for swimming.

After Paul’s death, the Wilcox family created a scrap book of memories which is now overflowing with kind words, anecdotes and pictures.

Marie, 74, said: “We just wanted to say thankyou for all the support we’ve had, especially from the young people who went to (Ysgol) Brynhyfryd with Paul.

“They’ve put pictures in the memory book that bring tears to our eyes.

“You always assume your child is liked but we didn’t realise how much.”

Paul, 50, was living in Byron Bay with his wife Victoria and had been enjoying one of his regular morning swims just off the coast when he was attacked by what was believed to be a great white shark.

It would have been their 25th wedding anniversary this month.

But the memory book is helping Mr and Mrs Wilcox focus on the happy times rather than the tragedy in Paul’s life.

“It’s giving us so much comfort and we’d invite anyone else who wants to, to come along and write in it,” Marie explained.

“In the years to come it will be lovely to look back on his life in this way.”

Friends from as far as Manchester and Kent have visited the family home and even strangers, including a vicar who never met Paul, have sent messages of support and paid their respects after being touched by Paul’s story.

Marie said she and her husband were starting to feel some “closure” and recently visited Moel Famau, one of Paul’s favourite places with his sister Jane, their daughter, to say goodbye.

“It was a really cloudy day but just as we reached the top the sun flooded through,” Marie added.

“There were no tears, only happy memories.”

See full story in the Free Press

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