DR Andrew Burke and his wife Dr Zara Weedon’s presentation of an icon to Gordon Park parish in memory of their son Angus carries profound meaning for the couple.
Angus, 3, was killed and his mother critically injured when a tree fell on them in January 2013.
His father and younger brother Joseph, only metres ahead, witnessed the accident.
The couple presented the icon, depicting the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, to parishioners at St Carthage’s Church, during 8am Mass last Sunday.
Dr Burke said the icon would be located in the church in memory of their son.
“One reason we’re giving it is that St Carthage’s is a very great faith community and played a big part in our healing process as a family,” Dr Burke said, referring to the horrific accident, which shattered the family a year earlier.
“Another reason is the icon reminds me of a special conversation I had with my son on his baptismal day.”
Angus, out walking with his parents and brother Joseph on January 28 last year, died not long after he was hit by the tree.
The accident happened beside Kedron Brook a short distance from the family’s Lutwyche home.
Angus fought for his life in the Royal Children’s Hospital, but died later that day.
Dr Weedon sustained extensive injuries, but has fought back through operations and extensive therapy to again be a confident mother to her two-year-old son Joseph.
She recalls the kindness of the St Carthage’s community the first time she was allowed out of hospital.
“It was Mother’s Day last year and Andrew warned me: ‘Everyone will know you’. And I said: ‘But I don’t know everyone’.
“When I got there to Mass, I was in a wheelchair and everyone was coming up and talking to me – it was so nice to feel that support.”
Dr Burke said the theme of the icon by West End-based iconographer Valerie Fjellstrom linked back to Angus’ interest in the stories behind religious images and also his baptismal day.
“One reason I chose the icon was I thought: What sort of painting would Angus like? Children like stories and the icon tells a story,” he said.
“The week before he died, Angus was walking up with me to Communion and he asked me what the Stations of the Cross were about.
“I told him I’d tell him after Mass which I attempted to do.
“He was at that age when he was curious about stories pictures are telling.
“So the icon is the sort of thing Angus would have asked: ‘Daddy, what is happening in that picture?’ and I would have told him.
“Also it reminds me of the day of his baptism when he was about three months old.
“Fr (Ken) Howell who married us … he baptised Angus at St Mary’s (South Brisbane) shortly after he’d taken over management there.
“I remember the day of Angus’ baptism as I was buckling him into the car, I said ‘Angus, today’s the defining day of your worldly life’.
“Of course, at that age he couldn’t understand what I was saying but it was just a very special moment that I had with him.”