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Powered by GulfNews.com, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

D'Souzas waiting for police to release children's bodies


06/16/2009 10:44 PM | By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter

Dubai: Police have not yet released the bodies of Nathan (5) and Chelsea (7) or the test results of the suspected poisoning case, an uncle of the deceased said on Tuesday.

Christopher D'Souza said the parents have not decided on whether to conduct the last rites of their children in Dubai.

Patrick and Anne-Sophie D'Souza, the parents of Nathan and Chelsea, seemed devastated by their loss at a memorial service for their children at St Mary's Catholic Church in Oud Metha, Dubai, on Tuesday.

"Chelsea, my grandmother, that's what I called you," Anne-Sophie said about her first born. Her eulogy was read out by a friend. "Nathan, my spiderman. It is hard to let you go. There must be a reason for this," she said.

Patrick D'Souza, the father, ran his fingers over the photograph of his children and sighed, "Oh, God" as he received condolences from friends, family and colleagues. On a small pedestal were pictures of the two children, a brown teddy bear and a brightly-coloured Minnie Mouse.

Cards distributed to the congregation read: "In memory of two little angels, Chelsea and Nathan. God needed two angels in Heaven to stand at the Saviour's feet, his choice must be the rarest two lilies pure and sweet&."

Nathan's teacher sent a note saying his school friends are too young to understand what has happened. "They want to phone him," she said. "He started off school as a shy boy and later became quite a 'joker' who was loved by all," she said.

Chelsea's teacher said everyone missed her terribly.

The service started off in pin-drop silence as the congregation slowly gathered at the church. Women could be seen wiping away tears as they went to the front row and commiserated with the bereaved family.

"God's ways are mysterious," Vicar P.M. Peter said as he prayed for God to give the parents "grace and patience to accept this very painful reality".

He later told Gulf News that it was heartening to see people of various faiths come together to offer support to the parents. Some of the members of the congregation included Peter's Emirati colleagues from Emirates airline. Maurice Flanagan, vice-chairman, and Mohammad Mattar, divisional senior vice-president, were present to offer their condolences.

Close friend Alvin D'Souza (no relation) was standing in line with a bouquet of flowers. He studied with Patrick at St Xavier's in Goa. "This was a very close-knit family. This is very difficult for them," he said. Maureen, his wife, said their children celebrated birthday parties and christening. "This is shocking news," she said.

Gilton Fernandes, Patrick's cousin, said he was bitter the hospital where the sick children had been taken had discharged them.

Robin Campbell, principal of Sheffield Private School, said he would solicit advice from all parents on how to deal with the tragedy. "They were absolutely beautiful children. Very popular," he said. Anoma, a family friend, said "We cannot explain in words what has happened."

Lotus Garden restaurant from where Anne-Sophie ordered take-away meals has been shut till investigations are completed. Doctors had earlier issued warnings about hygiene risks at smaller eateries during the summer months.

 
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