Sabah quake: Rachel left family with beautiful and lasting memories, says her father

Father of Rachel Ho being comforted by family and friends. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Father of Rachel Ho being comforted by family and friends. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Cremation of Sabah earthquake victim Rachel Ho Yann Shiuan at Tse Tho Aum Temple on June 11, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - In her death, 12-year-old Rachel Ho brought her family closer, her father James Ho said at her cremation on Thursday morning.

He said that Rachel had taught the family, as well as the nation, how to love.

The Primary 6 pupil from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) died on Mount Kinabalu last Friday when a 6.0 magnitude quake struck Sabah. Seven pupils and two teachers from the school died in the disaster.

More than 80 relatives and friends attended the cremation at Tse Tho Aum Temple at Sin Ming Drive.

In a eulogy delivered shortly after the last rites were performed, Mr Ho, who works in a bank, said: "You've left behind many beautiful and lasting memories that we will always cherish. Your smile, laughter and kisses will always stay with us."

Mr Ho, 45, struggled to hold back his tears during the two-minute long eulogy.

Among those who bade Rachel a tearful farewell at the cremation were her mother Peh Lay Ling, as well as her brothers, Ryan, 15, and Raphael, seven. TKPS principal Caroline Wu and a few pupils who were on the Mount Kinabalu trip also attended.

Family members and friends remembered her as a bubbly and cheerful girl, who loved netball.

Rachel played for the school's netball team for three years, and practised every day, including during recess at school. She dreamt of representing Singapore in the sport.

"Thank you, Rachel. We love you, our little angel," said Mr Ho, before breaking down at the end of his eulogy.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.