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

"My deepest sympathy to the family of the crash victims, to Nepal and to WWF. May their memories serve as our inspiration in our continous quest to save nature and make this earth a better place."
Fidela faustino, Philippines

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"Conservation all over the world needs special people. Your loved ones will be missed."
Jan Brookes, Calgary Alberta, Canada

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"It was very sad to me to hear the news of the deaths of great scientists in a helicopter crash in Nepal. I want to request the Nepal's Govt. to continue the mission of these great scientists and remeber their services in great rewards."
Imran Shahid, Research Fellow, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan

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"Thank you for taking care of our planet. Your contributions will be continued and cherished for all generations to come. Condolence to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones."
Vincent Navarosa, Philippines

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"Thanks for sharing the news. We the WWF Staff at Chitral heard that sad news two days before but were unaware of the detail. It is a big loss to conservation. My condolences to the families of the crash victims, WWF and Nepal. It’s a great loss to the WWF and Nepal also. Once again my deepest condolences for the personal losses of each family affected, for the larger, global family of WWF, and for Nepal's tragic loss of all these good people."
Ishaq Ali Shah, WWF-Chitral, Pakistan

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"My condolence to the families and friends of the WWF team of Chandra Gurung, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Harka Gurung, Yeshi Lama, Jill Bowling Schlaepfer, Jennifer Headley and Matthew Preece. We are with you."
Dr. Gino Mariño Arquiñigo, Veterinary, Perú

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"I am a writer but at times like this words fail me. Really don't know what to say. God bless the affected families and may the deseased rest in peace."
Krishnan, India

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"I am sorry to know about this tragedy. My heartfelt condolences to the family members. May God give them strength to bear this loss."
K.K.Narang, Delhi, India

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"Our deepest condolences to families, friends and colleagues of the deceased. This is a very sad loss."
Tom Dacey, Executive Officer, IUCN-SSC-Crocodile Specialist Group

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"My condolences to the families of the victims. Be strong and God will be with you. You are in my prayers."
Eunice Chege, WWF-EARPO

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"Very sad to hear about those who have died. Their memory will be remembered as those who tried to bring about change for the better of Nepal and the world. The families should be proud."
Aaron Orlicky, Canada

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"My heart is verry saddened to learn of this tragedy. I did not know of these dear people & I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I am soooooooooo verry verry sorry for all these losses. God bless."
Carole, Michigan, USA

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"Obvivously, it is a great loss for the nation. I pray to god may their souls rest in peace."
Sustainable Human Development Association, Gorakhpur, U.P., India

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"My deepest condolences to the WWF family and to the families of Chandra Gurung, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Harka Gurung, Yeshi Lama, Jill Bowling Schlaepfer, Jennifer Headley and Matthew Preece."
Ayeshaa Sinha, Kolkata, India

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We are shocked to hear the sad and tragic news of sudden and untimely demise of Dr. Harka Gurung, Advisor, Dr. Chandra Prashad Gurung, Country Representative, Mr. Mingma Nurbu Sherpa, WWF Eastern Himalaya Programme, Dr. Thirtha Man Maskey, Vice President, Asian Rhino Specialist Group, Ms. Yeshi Lama, Dr. Jill Bpwling, WWF UK, Ms. Jeniffer Headley, Coordinator, WWF UK, Mr. Matthew Preece, Program Officer, WWF US (America) on 23rd September, in a Helicopter crash, in Ghunsa, Taplejung of east Nepal.

They were people with great human qualities. We greatly admire their gentleness and generosity. We have received a great deal of their support, cooperation and good will. We will remember their contribution to the protection of environment and conservation of biodiversity to our nation. We wish to express our deepest sympathy and condolence to all of you, the bereaved families, and the WWF global families. We pray to the God Almighty for their eternal peace in heavenly abode.

Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists, Kathmandu, Nepal

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"I am very sad to hear the news but let us hope something good happens to the family members of these victims. Let us pray for their peace."
Anon.

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"So very, very sad. Virtually all conservationists routinely face threat & risk in the imperative to save the world for ourselves. I join all others in thanking the the victims of this terrible accident for their service and mourning their most unwelcome loss. My sincere condolences to their family and immediate friends."
Mike Lara, USA

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"It is indeed very sad & shocking news for me that my neighbouring country lost the precious lives of nature's friends. May their soul rest in peace . We shoud appreciate & continue their work for conservation."
Veenu Joon, India

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"This was very bad news for all members associated with WWF."
Santosh Gamit, Surat, India


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"I would like to express my deep condolence to WWF for their tragic loss. It was a big loss to whole world. Please continue the good work you do as I am a nature lover. Our world desperately needs you!"
Zaharan, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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"This incident made 23rd september a black saturday, its a matter of great loss in the history of conservation and nature field. We pray to god for peace to the departed onces. This loss can't filled by anyone but with our devotion for the same object we make that loss a slight less."
Sachin Sharma, New Delhi, India

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"Their souls have been assimilated by the mountains & the forests of Mother Nature. They are not gone because they have left an indelible mark on the face of Mother Earth through their unstinting efforts. May their tribe increase."
Pragjyoti, Kolkata, India


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"Condolences to the families and also to the people of Nepal and the entire conservation community, who were inspired everyday by people who worked with a belief and a cause."
Monisha Mitra, Oman

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"It is an immense loss not only for the people who knew them but for the entire world. Conservation in South Asia is very critical at the moment and such a loss is a hge setback. But this should in no way hamper the work they were into, rather their cause should be carried further as a tribute to them. I offer my condolence to the near and dear ones and to the human race as a whole."
Padmesh kataria, New Delhi, India

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"With deep sorrow i would like to express my anger for the loss of our Sisters and Brothers who had dedicated their lives in order to conserve the entire Word!!. It is quite a big loss, may their souls rest in eternal peace."
Ssebbaale David, Kampala, Uganda

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"Dear friends, I do take this opportunity to send a message of condolence to the berieved at this difficult moment. Be strong and rest assured that the work they left behind will be our driving force to continue with conservation efforts around the world. May GOD rest their souls in peace."
Mr.Patrick M. Loki, Kenya


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"The sudden death of our comrades in action brought me deep sorrow. I wish to extend my sincere condolences and prayers to their families."
Rey Ubalde, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines

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"I was sorry to hear this tragedy. I hope God will accept him and bring place in heaven."
Siska, Indonesia

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"I greatly honour their dedication towards conservation of nature and earth. I deeply express my sorrow and gratitude over their families and also pray almighty to give their souls eternity."
Shaldavya K., India

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During some 5-years engaged in conservation in Nepal, I had the great fortune to cross paths with Mingma Sherpa, Chandra Gurung, and Tirtha Man Maskey, and on a few occasions met Harka Gurung. They were beacons of light for young Nepalis interested in the environment, and professionally stood at the top of their field within Nepal and internationally.

They were at their best in the field, where they could leave behind the shackles of office work and turn their abundant talents to the task of conserving Nepal’s biodiversity in the Terai, Mid-hills, Himal and Tibetan plateau. They were all experts at realizing conservation on the ground, by protecting special places and involving local people in the enterprise. Their deep personal knowledge and spiritual attachment to Nepal’s land, resources, culture and people cannot be replaced. Nepal’s loss is our collective loss. My heart grieves for their families.

John McEachern, Executive Director CEMA, Fort McMurray AB, CANADA

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"It's very unfortunate to hear that some of the WWF staff and several dignitaries have died in the helicopter crash in Nepal. It's a big loss to the WWF commitee, the general people as well as the Nepal Govt. It's a great shock to the WWF campaign programme. I want to offer my deepest condolence to those who have lost their lives in the lap of the nature."
Sayak Roy, Howrah, India

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"That is very bad news for WWF and for the people of Nepal. I'm really sorry."
Thomas vandeweege, Belgium

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"ECCA family has been deeply shocked at the death of Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation Mr. Gopal Rai (and his wife), two of the ECCA Honorary Members Mr. Mingma Norbu Sherpa and Dr. Chandra Gurung, Charge d' Affairs of Embassy of Finland Mr. Pauli Mustonen, senior Nepalese Government Officials, senior officials of WWF (Nepal, USA, UK), senior officials of USAID and other distinguished personalities - all of whom had been ECCA well wishers - in the helicopter crash in Taplejung on September 23, 2006 (Asok 7, 2063). We express sympathy for their families and pray for peace of the departed souls."
ECCA-Nepal

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"Moments like that we understant how precious is life. That's why the WWF staff must continue their fight even thow the difficulties they face. I'm sure that the people that have lost their lives last Saturday, will be proud for the WWF and their huge effort."
Constantina Theodoropoulou, Patras, Greece


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"My Heart felt condolences go out to the families of our 7 beloved friends. A salute of honor for their work and dedication, days and nights of work they have put in while making all efforts to save and preserve some of Kanchenjunga's beautiful natural heritage. A hope and promise that their conservation work will be fulfilled by us all."
Aravind Bettadapur, Singapore

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"What a tragedy! I am deeply sorry, for the families of those superb people, for their friends and colleagues at WWF International and local authorities in Nepal."
George Vlahos, WWF member, GREECE

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"Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues of Chandra, Jill, Mingma, Harka, Jennifer, Yeshi and Matthew, It was a great shock to hear of this tragedy. Please let me convey my deepest condolences to you all."
Rusyda Deli, WWF-Indonesia


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"I am greatly saddened by their demise. But I cannot get back their lives, so I just hope their souls rest in peace. And their families get over it too."
Anjana, India

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"Those lost in the tragedy will be in our prayers, such a tragic lost they legacy will never be forgotten."
Brenda McRae, Sydney NSW

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My wife, family and I join the many New Zealanders who had the privilege of working with so many of the folk that have cruelly and unexpectedly been taken away from their families, friends, colleagues and the conservation movement. We are in a state of shock and disbelief that so many great people could be snatched away from us so suddenly I had the privilege of working with Mingma Norbu over many years and we all still remember a visit to his mother’s house with our family in Khunde Village during the mid 1970’s when we were working with the Himalayan Trust and the Government of Nepal to establish Sagarmatha National Park.

During other assignments and visits to Nepal I worked closely with Mr. Narayan Poudel, Chandra Gurung, Dr. Tirtha Man Maskey, and Dr. Harka Gurung. Mingma Norbu was selected by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust to study in NZ and he and Narayan Poudel completed courses at Lincoln University and are still remembered by those that had contact with them.

Mingma went onto be come the first Sherpa Warden to manage Sagarmatha National Park and World Heritage Area. Suffice to say we deeply share in this tragic loss. A Maori perspective can perhaps help us during times like this; Whaia e koe ki te iti kahurangi; ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

Bruce & Margaret Jefferies and Family, Wanaka, New Zealand

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