BRISBANE — Australian millionaire Peter Holmes à Court and his new wife say their “hearts are broken” following the Zimbabwe train crash which killed one of their wedding party.
The WA-raised millionaire posted a message on Facebook to friends, along with a photograph of his bride’s hand with a wedding ring and stitches.
Their friend, Will Poovey, died when a tram carrying the wedding party at Victoria Falls was hit by a freight train on July 1, injuring 20 people.
In the statement, Holmes à Court said he and wife Alissa Everett photographed their Botswana ceremony using their late friend’s camera.
“We are happy to be married, yet our hearts are broken for the loss of our dear friend,” Holmes Court wrote.
“We were involved in an accident in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, when our tourist tram was hit by a goods train. Two people were injured, two serious, and one died as a result of the injury.
“We are OK. Bruised, cut, stitched and strapped. These will fade and heal. Many others were hurt worse than us and, as a group, we were very, very lucky.
“On that tragic night, we witnessed so much bravery, but the world lost one of its best in Will Poovey. Alissa loved him like a brother, and Peter is honoured that he had blessed our union.
“His wife Kara — as Will well knew — is an angel on this earth with us. She had a small operation in Johannesburg and continues to light up the room with her teary smile.
“The tragic events has given us such incredible respect for Kara, and we send our love to Kara, Carson and Coco Poovey.
“Kara requested that we rejoin our group in Botswana and gave us Will’s camera. She insisted we honour Will by following through with our wedding ceremony and filling the camera with beautiful photographs.
“The wedding took place as planned, smaller and quieter without Will.
“Good will come from this if we rise to the challenge of living life as Will did: making the most of every day, adding laughter and joy to every room we enter, and deeply loving those close to us.”
In a separate statement, Everett, a New York photographer, said she loved Poovey like a brother and described his wife’s strength as “mighty to behold”.
“Their love over 18 years of marriage was an inspiration for me. Perhaps I hadn’t got married because I hadn’t met my Will Poovey,” she wrote on Facebook.
“When I told Kara this in the hospital in Johannesburg, and she asked me to carry it forward.
“She sent me to get married in Botswana, and gave me Will’s camera, insisting I honour him by following through with the wedding ceremony and filling the camera with beautiful photographs.”
The couple said they would take their honeymoon next year, “when smiles come easier”. Guests and friends of the wedding have raised more than $17 000 to fund Safe Houses in DR Congo for survivors of sexual violence.
One of the houses will be dedicated in the name of the Poovey family.
– Herald Sun