Crowds gathered in Tarleton to celebrate the life of 18-year-old Georgina Callander, who died in the Manchester Arena bombing.Advertisement
Mourners dressed in yellow lined the streets as Georgina’s coffin was carried through the village in a horse drawn carriage, festooned with pictures of Disney princesses.
Following behind were Georgina’s mum Lesley, dressed in yellow, her dad Simon and brothers Daniel and Harry, and hundreds packed the church of Holy Trinity in the village.
Georgina’s brother Daniel, friends, teachers and colleagues paid tribute to the Runshaw College student, who planned to start a degree in paediatric nursing after her A levels.
Mourners spoke of Georgina’s infectious smile, her hugs, giggles and her love of animals and music.
Daniel said: “She was definitely Mummy’s little girl and the rest of the family – me, Harry and Dad – called her the perfect child. She didn’t do anything wrong and she could get away with anything she liked.
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“She wasn’t just the average sister who was there because you were related to her. She would look after you. Really look after you…
“She was the incarnation of innocence, my little sister. Rest in peace.”
Yvette Mitchell, Georgina’s tutor at Runshaw College in Leyland, spoke of Georgina’s excitement to be attending the Ariana Grande concert on May 22.
She said: “Georgina was very excited about the concert, She did mention it on many occasions that day and in the days before. My last memory will be of her, so excited, wearing her sunshine yellow jacket.”
Ms Mitchell described Georgina as a ‘mother hen’ among her friendship group and said: “Georgina was like the sunshine. She brought us warmth, laughter and fun.
“She had a beautiful smile and as everyone said, she had the most infectious laugh.
“She had her eye firmly fixed on her goal – to become a paediatric nurse.
“She was a credit to her family, and we are all very, very proud of her.”
One colleague, who worked with Georgina at Booths supermarket, spoke about Georgina’s love for the popstar, who she met personally, while others described her as ‘so positive and full of the joys of life.’
Opening the service, Rev John Goddard, the retired Bishop of Burnley, spoke of the ‘brutal, heinous act, which plucked so many from loving homes and injured many more.’
He said: “Here in Tarleton, we continue to be shocked and appalled at such hatred for here this evil ended Georgina and Saffie’s lives and shattering grief was imposed on their homes.
“It was in the home of Lesley, Simon, Daniel and Harry that the sharpness of a true awfulness was truly felt as grief descended on them.
“Of course there will be times of darkness ahead for them and grief to be borne by the family and friends, and we will continue to ask God’s grace and to embrace them.
“I know that through God’s love and grace, evil cannot and will not triumph and so despite the darkness of that awful Monday, the light of Jesus Christ will shine and the darkness will never overcome it.
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“That light, that love of God, we pray, will embrace Georgina holding her in peace and bringing her to eternal glory.”
Rev Stephen Hughes said: “Her life was cut tragically short – 18 years – but Georgina packed more love, more smiles, more hugs and more kisses into those 18 years than some people pack into 18 lifetimes.
“It is not the number of years that Georgina lived that is important, it is the life she lived within those years.
“Anybody can say that they lived life to the full, but she lived a life full of love.”
As Georgina’s coffin was carried from the church, white doves were released, before the family left for a private burial at Much Hoole Woodland Burial Ground.