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Priest pays tribute to shark victim

Adelaide Sacred Heart College chaplain, Passionist Fr Mark Cooper, told the congregation at yesterday's memorial service for former student and shark attack victim Nick Peterson, that the loss of Nick is "something we can't begin to understand".

The Advertiser reports that he spoke of the disbelief and anger that continued to plague friends and family in the wake of the tragedy.

"Your going from us is something we can't begin to understand but one thing that is not a mystery to us is how much you are appreciated," he said.

A $1 million appeal was launched in memory of Mr Peterson, who was 18, as hundreds of mourners gathered beneath the trees at Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park, for the memorial service to a young man who loved the natural environment and lived every moment to the full.

His life was celebrated through the memories of those closest to him. Parents Philip and Leonie told of "an accomplished stuntman" who was "raised on a diet of super heroes, extreme sports and action films", a "push-button boy" who had a knack with everything electrical and to do with computers. They spoke proudly of "how lucky we are" to have shared in the 18 years of their son's life.

A week ago, two white pointers measuring about 4.5m and 6m attacked Mr Peterson about 150m off West Beach, one of the closest beaches to the centre of Adelaide.

Nick's Gift: Fund launched as hundreds mourn shark victim (The Advertiser 23/12/04)

Sacred Heart College

Mates pay tribute as $1m appeal launched (The Advertiser 23/12/04)
Great white fear resurfaces on memorial day (The Australian 23/12/04)
Victim's father against killing shark (Sydney Morning Herald 17/12/04)

23 Dec 2004