Helicopter Tragedy, Nepal 2006: Book of Condolences: Messages so far

"This note is to join all the people saddened by the tragedy of WWF's team in Nepal. Warm regards to their friends and families."
R. Parmentier, The Varda Group

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"As an employee of the US Fish & Wildlife Service who has also lost a conservation comrade in the line of duty, my heart goes out to each of the families and co-workers and friends of these individuals. Their lives have made a difference on our earth and I am thankful for their being here."
Janice Lane, Kitty Hawk, NC  USA

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"On behalf of my home organization, The George Wright Society, and on behalf of the North American members of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, I send our deepest condolences to the families of those who died in this tragic crash, some of whom were personal colleagues. Please know that the conservation community resolves to continue their invaluable work so that the achievements of their lives become a permanent legacy to all humankind."
David Harmon, executive director, GWS, and vice chair for North America, IUCN WCPA

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"My thoughts are with all who were lost in this tragedy and their families. The good work done by them for Nepal and the world should not be forgotten. Special condolences to the family of Mingma Sherpa, who was a former colleague and friend."
Paula Wolferseder Yabar, Arlington, VA, USA

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"My heart goes out to the family and friends of everyone taken away from us. Matthew Preece my friend, your enthusiasm and love for what you believed in will never be forgotten."
M. Venkatesh, Boston USA

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"With sincere sympathy for the loss of such fine conservationists. I will remember Narayan Poudal from his involvement in the IUCN Australian Alps travelling workhsop in the 1990s and was proud to hear he had become the CEO. To all in conservation in Nepal, my condolences."
Janet Mackay WCPA Australia

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"Matt, Many miss you, but we live on inspired by your joyful essence. I know that wherever you are now, your sprit is dancing, laughing and enjoying - encouraging others to do the same. The creatures of this planet (humans and otherwise) are thankful that you walked among us. Peace and love be with you."
Anon., USA

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"I just wanted to send my deepest condolences on the loss of your staff. In particular wanted to note my sadness at the loss of Yeshi Lama, the elder daughter of Bhakha Tulku Rinpoche, and to send condolences and prayers to all of her family. Yeshi had been so happy to be working for a cause that meant so much to her. "
Dawa Chotso, USA

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"We MUST continue the work which has inspired those who have been lost to us and to Nepal. Their work to protect our lands will not be forgotten. Chandra, you will be missed by so many. Rest in peace"
Sandra, UK

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"This is a great loss for Nepal and the world as well. We can't express it in words."
Gajendra katuwal and family , Dartford , Kent, united Kingdom

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"Matt, we will miss your humor and adventures. I will always get a laugh from your rickshaw cronicles. Your family will forever hold you close in their hearts. I am so very sorry that such wonderful people have lost their lives so tragically carrying out their duties for WWF. The world and it's environment is a much sadder place for their passing. I hope their relatives and friends will take some comfort from their outstanding achievements and dedication."
Les Jones, former WWF employee

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Matt: When a friend is gone it is felt in the soul, and mine is very heavy with the gravity of losing you. You have touched me and so many in life, and you have touched us also in death. I will mark your passage with tears as I reflect on you and your life project - both tragically cut short. My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all the deceased.

A friend and classmate, US

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"My deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all who died in this tragic accident. I knew but one, Jill Bowling. Her rare combination of vision, intellect, experience, warmth and wisdom will be sorely missed by all who knew her."
Jeff Hardesty, TNC, USA

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"I am deeply saddened by this tragic loss of so many great colleagues and good friends which I always enjoyed to work and discuss with. I will never forget them. My condolences to all victims' families and our colleagues in the Nepal office and their home offices all over the world."
Anon.

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"I was deeply shocked when I read the news about the WWF copter that had crashed in Nepal. My thoughts are with their family, I wish to send my deepest condolences to the colleagues, families and friends of the deceased. Be sure that they will never be forgotten!"
Anja, The Netherlands

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"It is a very devastating news. May the almighty rest the deceased souls in peace, and grant tolerance power to the bereaved families. On a personal note, I have lost my best friend's happiness to it. My love and thoughts are with Sujata Acharya."
Bimjhana, USA

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"We in the Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand, send our very deep condolences to family, friends and colleagues of all in the crash.  When I sent out a note about it to our Executive committee, I received this from one of our Maori Exec members. He says it eloquently. See below (part of text is in his native Maori):"

"...this is very tragic and sad. These folk worked with integrity and passion to stand up for papatunuku and her children and only through understanding ourselves and our own relationships will we do papatuanuku, her children and the mauri of the planet justice. We have so far to go but these warriors of preservation get my deepest sympathy fighting the negative aspects of modern society to help us arrive at sustainable and happy future for us all. Te he mauriora"
Cath Wallace, Co-chair of ECO & Rick Barber, West Coast, New Zealand

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"My deepest condolences to the colleagues, families and friends of the deceased.This tragedy deeply saddened to me, a huge loss to the country. Would like to pray for eternal peace for the departed souls. "
Jagannath Aryal, New Zealand

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"I am deeply saddened by this terrible message. We won't forget them."
S., Switzerland

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"We are deeply saddened by your tradegy.  A great loss not only to Nepal but to global conservation efforts. Having worked for WWF Nepal on the Kanchenjunga Tourism Plan, we know well the difficult terrain and challenging tasks ahead.  We will honour their memory by continuing our own small steps for conservation, sustainability."
David Simmons, Matthias Schellhorn, Trudi Jones

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"My deepest sympathies to the families and colleagues of those who perished in the accident. We can best honor their sacrifice by continuing their work."
Rick Smith, USA

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Heavy with sadness, I am reminded of the words of the Nepali poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota, quoted by Chandra Gurung during a workshop on Conserving Himalayan Heritage in Kathmandu in 1998: "If there are no people in the pristine nature, who will admire its beauty?". So many of the dedicated conservationists who have died so tragically were congregated at the foot of Mt Kanchenjunga to celebrate this noble ideal. May they be united in death as they were in life. Their memory and vision will live on undiminished in all of our hearts.

Terence Hay-Edie, GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP NY

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"My deepest condolences to all the families and associates of those who died. May their memories inspire many many others to the kind of noble and essential work they were doing."
John Whalen, Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, USA

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"My deepest sympathy for all touched by this tragedy, especially family members. Keep up your crucial work. Warm thoughts."
Catherine Luborsky  USA

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"On hearing the news this morning, so many warm memories of times spent with Chandra and Mingma came flooding back. They were wonderful people and great conservationists. It is such a great and sad loss to us all. I don't have the full details but it seems that so many have died - all committed to restoring those beautiful and mysterious mountains. Perhaps we can think of a massive release of energy which somehow will continue to work for the environment and Nepal."
Jeremy Carew-Reid, Australia

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"We are deeply saddened by your tragedy.  A great loss not only to Nepal but to global conservation efforts."
David Simmons, Lincoln University, New Zealand

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"I am very disheartened by this news. I have the honor of knowing some of these fantastic people and can say that I have never met more devoted conservationists and caring individuals. Their legacy and work have inspired many, bettered our natural world and will never be forgotten. All my prayers and condolences to their family, friends and colleagues during this very difficult time. Just know that we are all better in this world because of your support of their life's work."
Phurba Gyalzen, San Francisco

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"We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Our condolences to the families of the conservationists that perished doing what they loved, and to all our friends in WWF."
Sandra Miethke, TNC, Chile

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"As a former WWF Nepal staff, I am distressed by this tragic loss. I worked alongside Yeshi, Dr. Gurung, Minma ji, and Dr. Hraka Gurung and mourn for our loss. My deepest condolonces to family and friends of all the deceased. "
Anju Shrestha, Australia

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"My deepest sympathy for all families and friends. I sometimes wonder if conservationist organizations and their supporters realise the risk to which field staff and volunteers are exposed. I have lived for almost 80 years now and still live a life of adventure. I have suffered only three accidents which have left me with permanent injury - one in the course of a mountain rescue and the other two while working on WCPA Projects. I don't regret this at all, but know it represents in a minor way the risks of a good life. Probably those who died would have known of the risk and would have fully accepted it - but it is a great sadness for all who mourn them."
Elery Hamilton-Smith, Australia

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"I am so sorry to hear about this tragic accident. My condolences to WWF and to everyone who knew the people involved."
Cathy, USA

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"All my thoughts are with the families of those lost. What a black day for WWF. These people can never be replaced but their spirits live on."
Nikki Robinson, Godalming, UK

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I have had several opportunities to work closely with Dr. Chandra Gurung, and have been inspired by his long years of conservation work and commitment. Nepal has lost Dr. Gurung and several other noted conservationists, which is an uncompensated loss for our country. I believe their footprints will be continous source of motivation and provide momentum for all of us, who work for similar cause. For Dr. Gurung: You will be always reflected in your achievements you have left behind you. And we all respect you for your endeavours.

Rojina Manandhar, Student, Duke University (US)

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"What a blow to all of us who knew any of them (I had three beloved colleagues in the group), and to conservation work in the Himalayan Region!! Irreplaceable, wonderful persons. Impossible to put meaningful thoughts on paper. My wife, Linda and I send our mental waves of solace and encouragement to families and WWF and Nepalese/Bhutanese colleagues with whom they worked. A tragedy indeed!"
Prof. Lawrence Hamilton. Senior Advisor WCPA/IUCN, Charlotte, Vermont, USA

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"I have a  WWF stuffed panda atop my PC and a WWF calender that is indispensible to me and my work. In recent times, I have been closer to WWF Nepal in many ways than one, during when I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Gurung and Dr. Maskey. It's truly a sad day but to appreciate life, we have to be thankful. Thank you and you will also be remembered."
Pankaj Rayamajhi, Kathmandu

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"I knew Jennifer Headley for the past 7 years and stayed with her and travelled within Thailand with her. She was a fine and vibrant person and had a passion for the country and the people. She and the other members of the party will be sorely missed."
Ross McKinnon Hainan China/Pender Island BC Canada

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"My heartfelt condolences to the families of all who died in the tragic incident. I am a graduate in biological sciences from Neplese university and I vividly remember thier contribution in the field of biodiversity protection and conservation management. They were my heroes. It is a huge set back for my country Nepal, WWF and conservationaists around the world but here we are, people like me, who are getting educated and trained to follow their footsteps. Believe me, your work and inspiration will never die."
Dipesh, Alabama, USA

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"We mourn the loss of so many wonderful wildlife advocates. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and animals affected by this disaster."
Emily M., Kirksville, MO, USA

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"Jenn was a dear friend with a beautiful outlook on life, she will be missed."
Richard

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I went to school with Jennifer Headley. She was a caring individual whom I will always remember. I was in the same residence with her in my first year. She was a hall programmer for International House and helped me through some tough issues. My condolences to her family. I know she will be dearly missed.

Jennifer Graham (nee Ough) Barrie

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