500 celebrate crash victim's life

PINK and purple balloons drifted above Riverside yesterday as a tribute to some of Natalia Pearn's favourite things.

The colours were Natalia's favourites and the way they flew expressed her love for travel _ a love that was going to take her to Fiji and the US in four weeks.

The balloons were released by the 27-year-old's family and friends at the conclusion of her funeral service at Riverside's Tailrace Centre.

About 500 people attended the service and celebrated Natalia's life, which was cut short in a head-on collision on the Midland Highway, south of Oatlands, on March 24.

Friends and family described Natalia as loving, caring, strong-willed and beautiful.

``Tails was the most kind-hearted person I knew,'' friend Lauren Haskell said.

``If I could take anything from this, it would be to be more like Tails.''

Cousin Clare Richardson spoke of their times growing up together; from playing at the family's farm at Whitemore when Natalia was a ``tom-boy'', to Natalia's adult years when she dressed like a girl, drank Passion Pop, found a love for travel and became an award-winning hairdresser.

``She loved to get dirty [when she was little] and she hated when anyone would brush her hair,'' Ms Richardson said.

``I don't know how she became a hairdresser.

``Tails loved to put on an incredible frock, impossible shoes, funk jewellery and, of course, her MAC make-up.

``She was the queen of the fancy dress parties . . . and was always the life of the party and I will always remember her for her great smile, ever-changing hair, wonderful body art and wonderful taste in DVDs and movies.''

Natalia's coffin was driven from the centre as the family popped bottles of Passion Pop.

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