Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

'21St Birthday Party'; Brandon's Family to Use Occasion to Raise Funds for Support Group

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

'21St Birthday Party'; Brandon's Family to Use Occasion to Raise Funds for Support Group

Article excerpt

Byline: EBONY BATTERSBY Remembrance

THE candles on top of Brandon Matthews 21st birthday cake today do not represent a celebration, rather a sombre reflection.

Murdered on January 8 two years ago, Brandon will forever remain 18 as his loved ones are left to carry on his memory.

Mother Paula Matthews will mark her son's birthday today by placing balloons in the garden she created after his death.

"It would mean the world to me if he were here today," Mrs Matthews said.

"It is supposed to be a day where I wake up and sit with him as he opens his presents. Instead all I can do is visit his garden and place flowers and balloons there."

In a stoic stand against the violence that tore their family apart, the Matthews family are hosting a fundraiser in lieu of a party for their beloved son and brother.

It is their way of transforming the emptiness in their hearts into positive action.

To be held this Saturday in honour of the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group, Brandon Matthews' 21st will be unlike any other. …

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