Tragic reason walk for schoolgirl Jayde will end
FOR three years, the Lockyer Valley community has come together to remember and celebrate the life of Jayde Kendall, at the annual Day of Awareness Walk.
Held on August 14, marking the day she was last seen by family or friends, the walk helped ensure the memory of Jayde would never fade, and her message of awareness would continue to be spread.
But Jayde's grandfather Denis Morrissey sadly announced last week the walk would no longer be officially going ahead, as it had become too difficult for the family to continue hosting it.
"It's just that there's a lot of milestones that come throughout the year that the family has got to deal with, and it's not easy," Mr Morrissey said.
"Sadly, we just officially can't continue it."
Nearly four years has passed since Jayde's body was discovered two weeks after she went missing.
Brenden Bennetts was found guilty in 2017 of killing the 16-year-old schoolgirl and dumping her body in a field on the outskirts of Gatton.
Security cameras caught him accessing Jayde's bank account at a Gatton ATM on the day she was killed.
He was sentenced to life in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until 2037.
Mr Morrissey said the time leading up to the anniversary of her disappearance never became easier for the family.
"It is difficult - you've got you milestones of when she graduated from school, her birthday, going to university ... her 21st birthday is coming up next year," he said.
But he told the community the decision didn't mean friends, family or the public holding their own walk or gathering at the memorial on August 14.
The family will continue to spread Jayde's ode against bullying and violence and her message of awareness to prevent anybody else experiencing the same heart-wrenching pain.
"I've always said that with the messages that we're getting up, if it just affects one person then we've achieved what we tried to set out (to do)," he said.
"Last year there was two very young primary school girls that came up to me after it all finished and said thank you very much. That to me made it all worthwhile."
Jayde's ode against bullying and violence reads "May your lives of respect, gentleness and love replace all forms of violence, bullying and discrimination. In our world let this be your choice and our prayer."
Her message of awareness reads "Be aware of where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, the circumstances you are placing yourself in, always tell someone where you are going."