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Connecting people & communities CRANBOURNE Thursday, 22 June, 2017

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A ‘shining’ soul Luke Staveley, a life tragically cut short, leaving behind partner Emalee and step-daughter Elexis. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

on Saturday 10 June, and in less than six hours, it reached our initial $2000 goal,” Mr Grant said. Coupled with the financial altruism, the Casey Crime Page also provided a space for an outpouring of grief from a community that had lost one of its precious members. Friends and acquaintances took to the page to offer kind words of love and support to the family. Ms Staveley said she and her family were overwhelmed by the support that had come from the Cranbourne and surrounding community. “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and the outpouring



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of support,” she said. “I am just amazed and so thankful and grateful; I wish I could thank everyone individually.” While nothing can ever bring back her son, Ms Staveley said the support and kind words she had received from everyone around her had given her strength to keep going. “That gofundme is a brilliant thing, and I have had such wonderful support; I would be lost without it,” she said. “It has been heart-warming to see the responses and that gives you strength, this makes you believe in humanity.”

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The Casey community has banded together to assist a family facing the worst of tragedies following the death of 24-year-old Cranbourne man Luke Staveley. Mr Staveley’s life was cut short in its prime during a camping trip on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend near Stradbroke in Gippsland, leaving his family devastated. Luke Staveley was a Cranbourne local through and through, having attended school at St Peter’s College Cranbourne and been involved in many sporting clubs in the area. His family have remembered him as a shining star who brought light and love to the lives of everyone he knew. Mr Staveley’s mother Denise said she was endlessly proud of the man her son grew to be and had fond memories of their close relationship. “He was a thoughtful person and he wasn’t scared to show his feeling of his mum even in front of his mates,” she said. “It was the same for Mother’s Day; he would always suggest we go to his Nan’s place to show her love and was a wonderful partner and father to Emalee and Lexi.” He had developed a loving relationship with Emalee Jenkins and her 19-month-old daughter Elexis who have both been left bereft at the loss of Mr Staveley. “We had been together for eight months, and I don’t know what to say but that he was just amazing,” Ms Jenkins said. “We had met through mutual friends and I knew he was a good dad the first morning he met Lexi.” “He held her and didn’t care that she wasn’t his; I could feel his kind

nature and caring attitude coming through.” Always one with a kind and supportive word, Ms Staveley said her son was the best friend a person could ask for. “He just glowed and beamed all the time; he was always joking and making light of everything; he was constantly smiling and energetic.” “He was so proud of his friends and family and would never be shy about lending a hand and helping others out,” she said. “He would really care for his friends, and if someone was feeling low, he would sit and talk with them all night.” “He knew how to be a true friend and a beautiful son.” Mr Staveley had a varied career, being interested in and trying out many different jobs and trades before finding a love of working with glass. He was set to begin a glazier apprenticeship shortly after his illfated camping trip. While Mr Staveley’s family and friends have been left without their beloved, they have found support from members of the community in an unlikely online space. The Casey Crime Page on Facebook, more usually known as an online space for car thefts and break-ins, have fund-raised just shy of $10,000 for the grieving family. The 30,000 strong members of the page banded together to raise the money as well as remember Mr Staveley and offer support in the family’s difficult hour. A page was set up for the Staveley family by admins of the page Aaron Grant and Tammie McKill on the day Mr Staveley lost his life. “The fund-raising page went live


By Victoria Stone-Meadows

News - Cranbourne - 22nd June 2017