A funeral service was held on June 13th to remember Clare Nowland, a cherished member of the community, who tragically passed away after an incident involving the use of a taser by a police officer in New South Wales.
Friends and family gathered in large numbers at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cooma to bid farewell to Nowland, who was highly regarded and deeply loved. The service overflowed with attendees, reflecting the impact she had on those around her.
Nowland, a mother of eight, grandmother of 24, and great-grandmother of 29, had been battling dementia and passed away on May 24 at Cooma Base Hospital.
Senior Constable Kristian White of the NSW Police has been formally charged with several offences, including recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. White is scheduled to appear in court next month and has expressed his intention to contest the charges.
During the funeral, Father Mick MacAndrew, the priest at St Patrick’s, acknowledged that the grieving process for Nowland’s loss had only just begun, emphasising the deep impact she had on her community.
This comes after granddaughter Kylie Paske spoke about Clare Nowland’s tragic passing. “The circumstances she’s passed away in are unfathomable… I‘m sure investigators and what not will get answers – because we’ve all got questions.”
The presence at the service was overwhelming, with hundreds of attendees filling the church well before the scheduled start time. Despite the cold weather in June, the mourners came out in droves to pay their respects.
John Faint, the president of the St Vincent de Paul Society for Canberra and Goulburn, highlighted Nowland’s selfless dedication to the organisation, where she had volunteered for an impressive 55 years.
The overflow seating outside the church quickly filled up as well, with numerous mourners braving the foggy conditions to honour Nowland’s memory.
Many attendees chose to wear red and green scarves, symbolising Nowland’s unwavering support for the South Sydney rugby league club. Her allegiance to the team had begun during her time in Sydney before she relocated to Cooma after marrying in 1956.