‘Our hell beyond hell’: A love letter from the parents of 3 Hong Kong-raised children lost on flight MH17

‘Our hell beyond hell’: A love letter from the parents of 3 Hong Kong-raised children lost on flight MH17

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:52pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 July, 2014, 3:03am
Lana Lam
 Three siblings on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over the Ukraine grew up in Hong Kong and were much-loved students at the Australian International School.

The three Maslin children – Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8 – had all attended the Kowloon Tong school for several years before returning to Western Australia.

Their parents – Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris – penned an open letter on Thursday, describing the unspeakable grief of losing their three children.

“Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell,” the letter reads.

“Our babies are not here with us – we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.”

The father, managing director of Perth-based mining company Buxton Resources, took “indefinite leave” from his position earlier this week.

The children’s grandfather, Nick Norris, also died when the Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a surface-to-air missile last Thursday while flying over eastern Ukraine.

All 298 passengers and crew perished when the Boeing 777 was brought down, apparently by pro-separatist rebels.

Leonie Drew, co-head of the Australian International School, said yesterday: “The school appreciates the Hong Kong community’s support for the family of former students, Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, however at this stage it would be inappropriate for us to comment until we have come together as a community when school resumes next week.”

It is understood that when the new school terms starts next week, a memorial service will be held in tribute of the three Maslin children.

Friends of the Maslin family in Hong Kong were shocked by the news, with a local junior Australian Football League club to pay tribute to the children at a tournament next month.

Mo and Otis Maslin had played for the junior Cobras team during their time in Hong Kong.

“The Maslin family were very popular and active members of the Cobras before they moved back to Australia and on behalf of the entire Hong Kong Auskick community we would like to extend our sincere condolences for this awful loss,” head coach Brian Jackson wrote on the Hong Kong Auskick website earlier this week.

“We will pay our respects to those we have lost at our next tournament in August but in the meantime please keep the Maslin family and their friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

Last night, Jackson said the family was “very well-liked” and that a tribute in honour of the children will be held early next month.

The Maslin family had been on holiday in Amsterdam and the three children were flying back to Perth with their grandfather to start school on Monday while their parents stayed on for a few more days.

The Australian Consulate in Hong Kong opened a public condolence book earlier this week. Those who want to pay respect to victims of the tragedy are invited to the consulate on the 23rd floor of Harbour Centre in Wan Chai.


The Maslin children had all attended the Australian International School in Kowloon Tong. Photo: Oliver Tsang

Full text of the open letter written by Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris:

A message to the soldiers in the Ukraine, the politicians, the media, our friends and family.

Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell.

Our babies are not here with us  we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.

No one deserves what we are going through.

Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other.

This is a revelation that gives us some comfort.

We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror.

So far, every moment since we arrived home, we’ve been surrounded by family and friends. We desperately pray that this continues, because this expression of love is what is keeping us alive.

We want to continue to know about your lives, all the good and all the bad. We no longer have lives that we want to live by ourselves. So we’d like to take the chance to thank everyone, all our incredible friends, family and communities, and to tell you all that we love you very much.

We would also like to thank the people at DFAT; the local co-ordinator Claire and most sincerely, Diana and Adrian from The Hague, without whom we would not be here. We ask the media to respect the privacy of our family and friends  pain is not a story.

Yours truly

Anthony Maslin & Marite Norris


Published by

Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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