Town pulls together to keep Jayde's memory alive

WALK FOR JAYDE: Jayde's family led the second annual walk for awareness and said they hoped a positive message would come from the tragedy.
WALK FOR JAYDE: Jayde's family led the second annual walk for awareness and said they hoped a positive message would come from the tragedy. Melanie Keyte

TWO years ago was the last time Bruce Morrissey saw his teenage daughter alive.

But Jayde Kendall's spirit has never faded from Gatton, and was honoured again yesterday afternoon when about 100 people walked from her old school to the memorial plaque established near Lake Apex in her memory.

Mr Morrissey led the second annual Walk for Jayde on the anniversary of his daughter's disappearance and said Jayde would have felt "humbled" by the turnout.

"My feelings are mixed today," he said.

"I'm happy to see the community out here, I'm happy to see the support that still continues two years on.

"It is a sad day for me personally, but to see everyone who did turn up to see us through this and to support us, it shows us what we're here for - it's about community.

"I don't think (Jayde) would have expected all this, that's for sure."

The 16-year-old left school on August 14, 2015 and never showed up for her evening McDonalds shift.

Her body was found in Upper Tenthill 13 days later.

Jayde's family have since become avid campaigners for personal safety and awareness.

"It's about safety but it's also about just being aware and putting yourself in a safe place, not doubting yourself (and) if you feel that something's not right, walk away," Mr Morrissey said.

"We all think we're bulletproof at some stage in our lives but in reality we're not," added Jayde's grandfather Dennis.

"Some of us get lucky, and some of us don't."

The teenager's murder horrified the small, tight-knit community, as most had some connection with the "bubbly" schoolgirl.

Former Lockyer District High School student Annalyse Ross drove from Brisbane, where she now studies Jayde's dream degree, psychology, to pay respect to her classmate.

"I think about Jayde a lot, she was in a few of my classes," she said.

"Being here and showing my support is just something I wanted to do personally to show I'm with the family, the school and the community."

Tracey Walker, who walked with her 14-year-old daughter Brooke, said the case had made a significant impact on her family.

"My older kids were in the same year group as Jayde and (some) work at McDonalds now," she said.

"We're just here to show respect to a loving community member and keep her memory alive."

Mr Morrissey also emphasised the importance of family and having an important person to trust.

"Obviously because you never know, the last time you say goodbye, it could be the last time," he said.

Mr Morrissey also reiterated Jayde's message: Be aware of where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, the circumstances you could be placing yourself in and always tell someone where you are going.

Topics:  crime jayde kendall jayde kendall day of awareness walk

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