Tue Dec 06 23:52:08 SAST 2016

Memorial service soon for Hammerl

HARRIET MCLEA | 2011-06-09 00:11:43.00 Comments

A memorial service for South African photographer Anton Hammerl will be held in Johannesburg early next month.

Hammerl's wife, Penny Sukhraj, and their two sons will fly from the UK to attend the service on July 2 at the His People Church, Parktown North.

While Hammerl's family mourn his death after 45 days of waiting for news, praying he was still alive, they now wait, hoping that his body will be returned.

Hammerl was killed by government forces outside the Libyan town of Brega on April 5. Family friend Peta Krost-Maunder said yesterday: "If they do find Anton's body and they bring it home he will be buried in Johannesburg. Obviously, we can't leave this forever in hope [of his body being returned] so that's why the date has been set."

US journalist James Foley, who was with Hammerl just before he died, has set up an education fund for his children. "James is a former teacher so that's why it is . an education trust," Krost-Maunder said.

The trust has received donations from people who campaigned for Foley's release, among them pupils of St Joseph Catholic Academy, an American school that raised $105 at a cake sale. A memorial service will also be held at St Brides church, London, in September.

In a tribute to Hammerl, recounting his last memories, Foley wrote: "That morning I can never forget. We believe he saved us by being closest to the road when the shooting began. What more is there to say about the spirit of a man? He was truly the best of us, Godspeed brother." Foley said Hammerl "couldn't justify spending any money on personal comfort that could go to sons and their education".

"The night before we last went out he proudly showed me the picture of his oldest on Skype," wrote Foley. Hammerl, "was a man you wanted by your side".

"His passion for life and photography in his praise for others and gentle self-criticism was admirable, until you looked on the screen of what he actually had captured and realised he was humble to the core. His photos in the few days he shot in eastern Libya have given me an indelible glimpse of his unique and human spirit."

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Memorial service soon for Hammerl

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