News State Queensland Touching tribute for couple

Touching tribute for couple

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The deaths of Toowoomba doctors Roger and Jill Guard on doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have left a gap in the city, its mayor says.

Dr Guard was the director of pathology at Toowoomba Base Hospital, while his wife worked as a GP.

“There is a very big gap that has been left in our community,” Mayor Paul Antonio told AAP ahead of a memorial service to be held in the city on Sunday afternoon.

“They’re amazing people.”

The couple was returning from a medical conference and holiday when the plane was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board including up to 39 Australian citizens and residents.

“It’s hard to understand how a conflict on the other side of the world with nothing to do with us can have such a profound effect,” Mr Antonio said.

The Guards are survived by their three children Paul, Amanda and David, and grandchildren.

The grieving family asked people not to bring flowers to the service at the Empire Theatre, but instead to donate to the medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

Paul Guard said last month that Doctors Without Borders was his parents’ favourite charity.

“The fact that my parents were doctors and they lost their lives in a conflict zone, and the work that (this charity) does is in conflict zones and crises around the world, we just think it is very appropriate,” he said.

Mr Guard is expected to deliver the eulogy and address the media after the memorial service.

Toowoomba Regional Council will stream the the celebration of the Guards’ lives on its website.