Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 6): Ellie’s parents set up memorial fund to help villagers

Friday, August 24, 2001

KOTA KINABALU: The parents of British teenager Ellie James, who died on Mount Kinabalu, has set up a memorial fund aimed at benefiting voluntary organisations and also the people of a village on the foothills of the mountain.

Ellie’s family, in a statement to the Daily Telegraph newspaper in London, said: “Ellie spent her last days with the villagers of Kampung Kiau Nulu and was particularly moved by their commitment towards preserving the rainforest and learning about the medicinal properties of plants.”

Apart from the people of Kampung Kiau Nulu, the donations would be distributed evenly to the Dianne Fossey Gorilla Fund, Care for the Wild, Amnesty International and The Big Issue.

Ellie’s parents Bruce James, 54, Claire, 49, brothers Henry, 15, and Thomas, an instructor with the Outward Bound School, described her as a “remarkable girl.”

“She lived her life to the full and achieved more in her 17-and-a-half years then most people do in 75 (years). She was brave, intelligent and beautiful.

“Her life was a campaign for justice and freedom. If her death inspires other people to stand up and be counted, her life would not be in vain,” they said in a statement, the first since she went missing on Aug 16 on the mountain.

Her body was found by Sabah Parks rangers on Wednesday and brought down to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here for a post-mortem.

The family, from Cornwall, but residing in Germany, thanked the people of Kiau Nulu for their hospitality, support and commitment in the search for Ellie.

“The mountain guides and national park wardens have risked their own lives in searching for Ellie,” they said in the statement.

On Wednesday night, the family went to the mortuary to identify Ellie’s body.

Mount Kinabalu Tragedy: A tribute to Ellie James (1985-2001)
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 2): Setback in search for girl
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 3): Signs that missing British girl still alive
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 4): “Spirits” had lured Ellie astray
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 5): British girl found dead on Mt Kinabalu

Resource: The Star Archive

2 thoughts on “Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 6): Ellie’s parents set up memorial fund to help villagers

Leave a Reply