Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Mourners wear pink to slain 9-year-old's funeral as family remembers 'bubbly' girl
Olivia was shot dead in her Liverpool home on Monday night, August 22, by a gun-toting gangster
DOVECOT, LIVERPOOL: Mourners at the funeral for Olivia Pratt Korbel wore a ‘splash of pink’ to remember the 9-year-old girl who was shot dead at her house during gang violence.
The little schoolgirl was laid to rest at a funeral that began at around 11 am. The funeral mass was held at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church in Knotty Ash, Liverpool. People gathered around the street as the white coffin of the little girl, decorated with butterflies and teddy bear-shaped floral tributes, arrived at the church in a white horse-drawn carriage.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel, who carried a big pink teddy bear to the funeral, said, "She was a strong and independent girl. Even as a toddler, she used to take many decisions on her own. Although she loved sparkle and glitz she would never go overboard and she was very particular, even down to her socks." She added, "Olivia was very chatty and bubbly and would talk for England, to the point we thought she had Duracell batteries inside her somewhere."
Ahead of the funeral, the family of the 9-year-old issued a notice in which they requested all community members to wear pink to Olivia’s funeral. Respecting the family’s request, many mourners wore pink outfits, while some pinned pink ribbons to their outfits. Staff from the funeral company wore dark suits with pink cravats and pink butterfly brooches.
Olivia's schoolmates were not asked to attend the funeral but they will remember their friend in a different way. Rebecca Wilkinson, the headteacher of St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School where Olivia was a pupil, said "All 480 of our children will be making flowers, and each one of those 480 flowers will be put together to make a memorial for Olivia." The pink theme is a nod to a time when Olivia used to wear pink nail polish to school and used to hide her little hands from the teachers, Wilkinson said.
The headteacher also revealed that the young pupils of the school are planning to build a rose garden and name part of the playground in memory of the nine-year-old.
Olivia was shot dead in her Liverpool home on Monday night, August 22, by a gun-toting gangster. The officials have arrested nine so far in connection to the murder but no charges have been brought yet. Earlier this month, Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, the founder of the charity Crimestoppers, announced he had personally provided a £50,000 reward for new information leading to the conviction of her killers.