The Morgan Innes Foundation

The Foundation

Morgan Moments

Harbour Safety

On the 1st May 2008 another Harbour Tragedy on Sydney Harbour seriously rocked our world. Memories on Morganís accident came flooding back. In this world no one beats you up for trying to do the right thing they only beat you up for doing nothing. Very little had happened on the Harbour to address safety since Morganís Accident and here we were just over twelve months on and 6 young people were dead and their were 6 more families embarking on the same terrible journey that we have been on.

We hear many things about both accidents, things about lights overloading and possibly alcohol but keep in mind the overloading had absolutely no relevance to the accident and if no one is looking lights would also have no effect.

The risk factors on Sydney Harbour are increasing not decreasing and I feel it is about time we got all of the experts into one room and come up with a Strategic Safety Plan for Sydney Harbour.

The other point to note with regard to both accidents, are the regulations and safe navigation guidelines that were and continue to be ignored by Commercial Operators.

Under the Safe Navigation Guidelines for Trawlers, the Trawler should have been no where near the pleasure craft in the most recent tragedy. It was also not the only Trawler ignoring the guideline as two other went past.

The infamous OTSI Report into Morganís Accident also pointed out that 17 of 19 in-service ferries on a single day later in the year ignored the North South Regulation thereby cutting the corner and were then on the ďwrong side of the roadĒ / harbour.

It is time for Commercial Operators to live up to their higher Duty of Care as Professionals and abide by all rules, regulations and guidelines. The current death toll is too great.

Inspiration

Recently, I went to a clientís home and they had two wonderful daughters aged 2 and 4. I showed them my daughter and they both wanted to give Morgan a drawing. I just didnít have the heart to discuss Morganís death and they were simply too young.

When I got home, I thought why shouldnít Morgan acknowledge their precious gift so I sent them a message from her. Both children were excited to receive their first email with a message and thanks from Morgan. Morgan was inspiring and continues to inspire others everyday.

Morgan Moments

Morgan had an infectious and engaging love of life. She gave of herself to everyone she met and we should all take the time with loved ones –to give them hug – to do things with them today, rather than put these things off until tomorrow.
In other words have a “Morgan Moment” with them, and reward the life that was so tragically cut short. We have been overwhelmed by the help we have received from friends but we have been especially in awe of the support we have received from total strangers.

In the midst of their grief the Innes Family received a letter from the mother of a five year old Autistic boy. Fraser had never met Morgan but had formed a connection to her through his mother’s friendship with Robert Innes.

Poems by Jessica Davis.

A friend is.

A friend is like a flower;

A rose to be exact,

Or maybe like a brand new gate

That never comes unlatched.

A friend is like an owl,

Both beautiful and wise.

Or perhaps a friend is like a ghost,

Whose spirit never dies.

A friend is like a heart that goes

Strong until the end.

Where would we be in this world

If we didn't have a friend

Forever Friends

You're my friend and that is true,

But the gift was given from me to you.

We went thru moments that were good and bad,

Even moments that were happy and sad.

You supported me when I was in tears,

We stuck together when we were in fear,

Its really sad that it had to be this way,

But it has reached its very last day.

Miles away can't keep us apart,

'cause you'll always be in my heart.

A Friend

A friend is like a shade tree

beside a summer way.

A friend is like the sunshine

that makes a perfect day.

A friend is like a flower

that's worn close to the heart.

A friend is like a treasure

with which one will not part

The Morgan Star

Two nights after we heard the news, Fraser came to me and very quietly and earnestly asked why I had been so upset about Morgan and the boat. I told him that I had been worried that she had been hurt, that I was very frightened that night and that was why I behaved the way I did.  He was silent, but questions and confusion clouded his face.  I told him that it was okay now, that Morgan had not been hurt, but that she had died on the boat.  Of course, I had no such knowledge at the time.
He said he wanted to see her.  I told him he could not, because she was in Heaven now, with God.  He asked to see a picture of her.  To my sorrow, I didn’t have one, so I showed him a picture I had taken of him with you, Kim and Robert, some time back.  A happy, pretty shot of the three of you on our lounge, Frazer wearing a red checkered scarf on his head.

“I was being a pirate”, he said.  But it was not enough.  He wanted to see a picture of Morgan, so I walked him into the computer room and downloaded a picture of her from the internet - Skating.  Again he was silent for some time, and then asked me a question that, firstly, I could never had expected and, secondly, could never hope to answer.

“God let Jesus come back to earth after three days.  How many sleeps before Morgan comes back to the world?”

Where to go from here? I asked myself.

“This is very different, darling.  Sometimes, some children are so, so special, that God decides he wants to keep them with him in Heaven forever, and look after them.”
This reply was clearly not acceptable, and he began to cry.  Not loud.  Not hysterical or dramatic as he so often is (he is his mother’s some, of course).  Just say, quiet tears.  Barely holding on myself, I blabbered on about how great Heaven is, and how Morgan can eat lollies all day, and watch Garfield all day and how happy she is, and how everyone likes her there.
But it was obvious he wasn’t listening. He was busy formulating a second, totally unexpected question, but one that, this time, I felt confident to answer.
“But…in Heaven…will…will God let her skate?”
What a lovely complex little boy, I let myself think for a moment.  But hes is too full of thoughts – complicated, imponderable, scary thoughts – and that is one of the reasons life is so difficult and draining for him

“Oh yes, darling, yes!  All day and night if she wants to.  She is the best skater God has ever seen and she jumps and twists and twirls in the air, and God sits in the big beautiful stadium and watches her and claps and laughs and she laughs too. She is so happy where she is, darling, so special”
Again, he looked on the verge of tears.

“And you know how special she is” I went on “God thinks that she is so wonderful. That he has given Morgan her very own star in the sky. A soft, glorious star with a great big feathery bed that’s pearly pink where she curls up and goes to sleep every night. Want to go outside and see it?”
“Yeah” He was excited now. Finally able to see something that might put it all together in his head. “And when I grow up I’m going to go to University and learn how to build a rocket and fly to Morgan’s Star to visit her.”

Attaboy, I smiled a little in awe of him. Proud of him and sad for him. Sad for all the other five year olds and ten year olds, and forty year olds who’ve ever had to have this conversation.
So we walked outside, as our luck would have it, to stare up into a dull, inky sky. ‘Won’t see too many stars tonight” muttered my husband as we walked by, echoing my worry. The best laid plans, and all that. But we needn’t have worried, because there it was. A solitary little star, due east. Modest, but quite clear. It twinkled quietly, but brilliantly.

“I see her! There she is! There’s Morgan’s Star!”

There it was sorted. He could see her, on a star. In the sky and it was all okay.

“Lets say, ‘night-night’ Morgan”

“Night, night Morgan” he said

“Night, night, Fraser” he heard

Who can say he is wrong?

Sea of Hearts

On Easter Sunday, after a particularly grief stricken day Robert Innes received an sms from one of his clients.

The message simply asked for us to “go to our letterbox”
When we opened the front door we were overwhelmed by a “Sea of Hearts”. The children at my clients church had made hundreds of multi-coloured cardboard hearts on wooden skewers and he had brought them and placed them all over our front yard and foot path. Each of these hearts were personalised and simply lifted us out of the “dark place” we had been all afternoon.
We can not fully embrace in words the feeling we had at that moment.

Meeting of Souls

On our return home from Sydney, we had gone to get some dinner in the food court at the Airport. It was one of those funny queues at the Subway counter and finding the end of the queue was difficult.
Finally, Robert got to what he thought was the end and asked the person in front was this correct. This started a limited conversation that was cut short by the man in front’s concern that he did not have enough money.

He then called out to his girlfriend in another line to give him some money and in jest and with a lot of fanfare she proceeded to communicate her displeasure in a physical non verbal way using fingers on both hands.

Robert pointed out to him that after 22 years together Kim’s non verbal communication of displeasure was far more refined and a simple glare was usually enough to place him on notice.

Our amusement attracted others to the conversation and two other uniformed men turned around. One asked “Are you Morgan’s dad?” Robert answered yes. The discussion went on concerning the search and the grief associated with losing such a wonderful child. As we got closer to ordering, Robert asked them all to give their children and partners a special hug and call it a “Morgan Moment” and even though we will not know it, the mere thought would keep her memory alive. The young couple were going to Cairns and promised to have many such moments. One of the uniformed men had a three week old baby and he promised that when the sleep deprivation would eventually get to him, he would take a breath, give his baby a hug and think of Morgan.

When Robert got to the end of the line and pulled out his wallet to pay, he was told the young couple had already paid for the meals.

The bet is on

Robert liked to attend training whenever he could and sit on the wooden rubbish bins next to the Ice Rink. To encourage Morgan he used to bet against her doing spins jumps etc with the change in his pocket. Morgan always got the money but we had a lot of fun along the way.

Children, being children were attracted to the many laughs and overall “fun” Morgan and her father were having. Soon a small “squad” of skaters was assembled every time Robert went to the barrier. Betting against someone else’s children with money would seem inappropriate, so a bag of chocolates were the reward for a good performance.

Every child was given the opportunity of doing a jump or spin and the rest had to attempt to do the same jump or spin better. There were no exceptions, if the girls did a “layback” or a “Bealman”, the boys had to attempt it if they wanted to win the chocolate bet.

There were some very amusing male attempts at predominantly female spins but the focus was on “fun”. (A ‘Bealman” involves holding the skate blade and pulling the leg up over the head while spinning.)
One of these children wrote to us and said that what she remembered about Morgan was the fact that she purposely lost, so that she could win.

Always Seek Inspiration

Morgan set out at all times to achieve the best she was able to achieve in whatever she did. She received Academic Awards from Lourdes Hill College in Queensland each semester and said after receiving her last Award that the Trophy presented didnít mean that much to her, not getting the award at all would have annoyed her more. Life is not always about being rewarded by others it is about looking within and seeing what you yourself need to fulfill your destiny or uplift your soul.

Find A Source Of Strength

From the minute she was born if Morgan was unsettled she would seek out her father. If things got too much you would find her with her head on his chest often both of them asleep. What she didnít realize was she was his strength as well.