500 attend funeral of backpacker

By Lee Lixenberg, August 22, 2008

More than 500 people attended the funeral of Sarah Bond, the 23-year-old Essex woman who was killed in a quad-bike accident in New Zealand.

In an emotional tribute to Miss Bond, her father, Jack, 55, described his daughter as an eshet chayil - a woman of worth - and praised her determination and love of life.

Miss Bond died when her bike plunged 150ft down a steep incline near the Waitomo Caves on the county's North Island. She was 10 days into a 10-month backpacking trip.

Speaking after the funeral at Rainham Cemetery in Essex, Mr Bond also praised all those who had offered support on both sides of the world: "We have been truly touched by a huge wave of sympathy and support. We don't know what we would have done without the help of the Jewish communities in New Zealand."

The service was led by Rabbi Mendel Lew of Stanmore synagogue. A simultaneous vigil was held in Auckland.

Last updated: 2:03pm, August 21 2008