AS A MEMORIAL service was held in Sydney for the 28 Australians killed in Friday's Malaysian Airlines disaster, churches across the region prayed for the victims' families.
Among them, Hervey Bay Dr Paul Burrows, who was already dealing with the disappearance of his brother in the missing MH370 flight when he lost two more relatives in last week's tragedy.
In a statement released at the weekend the Burrows family acknowledged the loss of Albert and Maree Rizk and said their thoughts were with those mourning the loss of passengers and crew.
Asking that their privacy be respected during the difficult time, the family said the public focus should remain with all the passengers and their families.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell, whose Church was among those paying tribute to the victims yesterday, said the local connection made the catastrophic event all the more disturbing for a community which was is home to a strong Malaysian and Dutch population.
"An international community like ours will be extremely affected by this," Cr O'Connell said
"It is a time for us to gather around each other, sympathise with grieving families and reflect on the value of life.
"All the families who have been impacted have our prayers and thoughts."