Danielle Forbes-Pryer leaves flowers at the Lindt Cafe in Collins Street. Photo: Deborah Gough Prime Minister Tony Abbott and wife Margaret lay bouquets at Martin Place in Sydney on Tuesday. Photo: James Alcock
The 15 survivors bound together by tragedySydney siege ends – how it happened
Melburnians have paid their respects to victims of Sydney’s hostage saga, with flowers and cards piling up at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Collins Street, sister site to the Martin Place cafe where the tragedy unfolded on Monday.
Dozens of bouquets are now at the Collins Street store, as people pause to remember the lives lost in the Sydney siege.
Danielle Forbes-Pryer works at the Optus outlet in the arcade next to Lindt Cafe and, with her family in Sydney, she feels the siege was “a bit too close”.
“I was on the phone to my mum last night and she said to make sure I took some flowers today because we saw it on the TV,” Ms Forbes-Pryer said.
Staff at the Collins Street cafe put on sombre but brave faces as they reopened the doors, but there was no ignoring the floral tributes or the newspapers on tables that spoke of the dead at their Sydney sister cafe.
Lindt’s Collins Street and Southbank cafes closed on Monday afternoon after gunman Man Haron Monis took their Sydney colleagues and customers hostage.
When the Collins Street store reopened shortly before 8.30am on Wednesday the first customer was quick with condolences.
“I am so sorry. It is so sad. Glad to see you are open again.”
Most customers said they were “sorry” but others were merely polite and restrained.
One read the news in detail, occasionally sniffling.
Flowers lined the front window but the assistant manager referred all questions back to Lindt’s chief executive Steve Loane.
Kerry Nourse, of East Melbourne, walked into the city to find the store. She intended to return with flowers.
“I have been walking around to find a place that I can stop and give a thought and prayer,” Ms Nourse said.
“I watched it unfold on television and woke up right at 2am. It was like something from a movie.
“It doesn’t matter where you are or where you come from it is just sickening and devastating,” she said.
Petra Lappalaine, a project manager at ANZ Bank, stopped to reflect at the cafe before it opened.
“I didn’t have any involvement but it does highlight the fact that no one is safe if there are people like that around that can cause terror in everyday life,” Ms Lappalaine said.
She said she identified with lawyer Katrina Dawson who died in the gunfire because she too was a working mother and that Ms Dawson’s death made the siege feel closer than the 877 kilometres that stands between the two cafes.
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