Obituary: Shelley Mather

Shelley Mather Shelley was a "beautiful and vibrant girl"

The only New Zealander to die in the London bombings, Shelley Mather had been living in the capital for three years.

The 26-year-old held dual passports with New Zealand and Irish citizenship.

When she went missing on 7 July, her parents John Mather and Kathryn Gilkison made the long journey from Auckland to London to search for their daughter.

After she was confirmed to have died on the Piccadilly Line Tube train, they said in a statement: "Shelley was a beautiful and vibrant girl who was truly loving, caring and giving."

Five years on, they spoke at the inquest into her death via a videolink from New Zealand, saying: "Shelley's humour was sublime and irreplaceable."

As a child growing up in Auckland, Ms Mather loved books and puzzles.

Later in life she developed a passion for indoor cricket and played in a league.

She left New Zealand in 2002 after saving up for a tour of Europe. She enjoyed the experience so much, she decided to become a tour guide and completed her training in 2004.

Her mother told the inquest Shelley had wanted to "circumnavigate the Universe".

Every day (by Kathryn Gilkison)

Every day

I carry this

The loss of you

Some days

It is not obvious

But today

It hits me again

I hold the weight of your ashes

More than you weighed at birth

I think

I clutch them to me

I want to place you back inside me

To give you life again

I carry you

Every day

Every day

"Through her travels, she spread joy and information to many people who had started out as strangers," she said.

"Many hundreds of them contacted us after her murder.

"All of them reiterated the same thing; that she was an amazing person who had added so much joy and friendship to their lives."

Most recently she had been temping as an administrator and looking forward to a trip to Greece in late July 2005.

She last visited New Zealand in March 2005 to be a bridesmaid at the wedding of her best friend, Jacqui Riley, and went to Glastonbury Festival in June.

Simon Fullarton, who worked with her, said: "Shelley was lively and go-getting, she was adventurous.

"She was fun and basically a really nice lady, good at her job, well-liked and respected by everyone.

"She was clever and well-educated and always had a smile and a funny or friendly comment.

"It is a tragedy to us, to London and the world that we lose people like her."

Nation 'touched'

About 300 people attended a memorial service at St-Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, on 30 July 2005.

The then Prime Minister Helen Clark spoke to say how the family's grief had touched the nation.

Ms Mather's cricket team formed a guard of honour as her coffin was taken from the church.

Earlier that month, friends, family and New Zealand High Commission staff attended a London ceremony at St Pancras Church, near where she died.

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