Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Philomena, Evita and Raphael Smith (GoFundMe)

Armidale Diocese has expressed its condolences to its diocesan financial administrator after three of his children and their grandfather were killed in a light plane crash near Canberra on Friday.

A statement on the diocese’s Facebook page yesterday said:

“The Diocese of Armidale extends its deepest condolences to Diocesan Financial Administrator David Smith, his wife Elise, and their family. They have suffered a heartbreaking loss, as their three precious children, Raphael (11), Evita (9), and Philomena (6), and Elise’s father, Peter, tragically lost their lives in a plane accident near Canberra on Friday.”

“Our hearts are heavy with grief, and our thoughts, prayers, and unwavering support go out to the Smith family during this incredibly difficult time.”

The Daily Telegraph reported that grandfather Peter Nally’s Cirrus SR22 plane departed Canberra at 2.26pm on Friday and crashed less than 20 minutes into its voyage to Armidale. The children and Mr Nally, who lives in Queensland, had spent the two previous days together visiting family in the ACT.

“There are no words to describe the grief our family is feeling at this time,” members of the Nally family said in a short statement issued via NSW Police, reported.

“We are appreciative of the overwhelming support we continue to receive from our extended family and friends as well as the local community.

“As we are still coming to terms with our loss, we ask that the media respect our privacy while we grieve and process this tragedy.”


Diocese of Armidale’s Facebook post (Armidale Diocese) 

Parachute failed in plane crash that killed man and three grandkids (Cydonee Mardon and Madeline Crittenden, The Daily Telegraph)

‘No words’: Family devastated after plane crash horror (

GoFund Me page for the Smith Family (GoFundMe)