Grieving grandparents, siblings await return of navy officer Joanna’s remains with heavy hearts

Family members waiting in the living room with Joanna's photo, candles and a large condolences wreath.

By Karen Bong and Wilfred Pilo

SERIAN, April 24: Grieving grandparents, siblings, relatives, friends and villagers have gathered with heavy hearts, awaiting the return of Able Seaman Joanna Felicia Rohna’s remains to Kampung Engkeroh in Jalan Mongkos near Tebakang here.

She was among 10 navy personnel killed in a crash involving two helicopters in Lumut yesterday (April 23). The accident occurred at 9.32am during a rehearsal for the 90th Navy Day parade and celebration at the Lumut naval base in Perak. The celebration was subsequently cancelled.

Joanna’s photo, candles and a large condolence wreath in the living room.
Roderic waiting for his sister’s remains to arrive in Kampung Engkeroh.

Since the devastating news broke yesterday, Joanna’s grandparents have been overwhelmed by grief and weakened by the ordeal as they await her return at Joanna’s husband’s house in Kampung Engkeroh.

Roderic Crister, Joanna’s 20-year-old brother, shared that the family is awaiting the arrival of their parents, who were immediately flown to Kuala Lumpur yesterday (April 23) to manage arrangements for the return of his sister’s remains.

“We are waiting for our parents to bring her home. Hopefully, everything will proceed smoothly,” he told DayakDaily when met today.

“We used to play on the farm, pushing wheelbarrows and racing. With her in the Navy and I’m working at a supermarket in Serian, she still found time to call, even with our busy schedules,” he said.

Meanwhile, a C-plane 130 of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will transport Joanna’s remains back home.

Relatives, friends and villagers gathering at Joanna’s husband home in Kampung Engkeroh.

In a statement today, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) stated that Joanna, along with nine other fallen heroes and heroines, will receive the final respects according to Naval tradition.

Joanna is expected to be laid to rest in the village Christian cemetery tomorrow morning (April 25) at 9am.

Serian MP Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem is expected to visit and pay his last respects later tonight. — DayakDaily