Friends and family gather to farewell Madelaine Crawley, who died in Rome last month.
Friends and family gather to farewell Madelaine Crawley, who died in Rome last month. Scott Powick

Hundreds say goodbye to Maddie

MORE than 500 people were at Chinderah yesterday to say goodbye to "Maddie".

Madelaine Crawley, 23, died in Rome while on a Contiki holiday.

Many of Miss Crawley's friends, co-workers and relatives stood up and told stories about how the bubbly blonde from Pottsville had influenced their lives.

"It's evident from the people here today that Madelaine made a big impact in this world," her cousin Sam Melville said.

"This is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. We are a tight-knit family living in each other's pockets.

"Maddie and I were especially close ... you could say I was her older sister. Something that Maddie loved doing was going camping with her family at Evans Head."

Ms Melville ended with a message to her "sister".

"Don't worry about your Mum and Dad, they are surrounded by love," she said.

Another moving moment came when the extended family read a letter from Miss Crawley's mother, Heather, to her departed daughter.

"You loved Christmas and even up until your last few days you were on Facebook wanting to know who you were buying presents for," the letter read.

"You will always be Daddy's little girl and be close to his heart. I surrender you my beautiful girl to the angels."

A fellow Contiki traveller found Miss Crawley lying dead on the bathroom floor of her bungalow at a campsite in Rome on September 29.

Italian authorities continue to investigate the cause of death.

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