Family, friends mark Shandee Blackburn's birthday
TODAY Shandee Blackburn should be feeling a little bit weary after ringing in her 24th birthday last night with a few celebratory drinks with close friends and family.
Sadly, the Mackay woman's birthday was celebrated without her - but family and friends took the opportunity to do "Shandee shots" in her honour at AM bar last night.
Her grieving mother Vicki Blackburn said it would be her daughter's last birthday party.
"We will always do something to celebrate or remember her but by next year people will have moved on," she said.
Ms Blackburn said the day had been harder than she had expected but she was touched by the number of people who had taken the time to visit Shandee's grave or her memorial on Boddington St to lay flowers and pay their respects. Shandee was viciously slain as she walked home from work in the early hours of February 9. Her murderer remains at large.
Vicki said that her daughter would have celebrated the day by wearing her favourite fluoro colours and going into town to have a few drinks and a dance with her friends.
"All the functions we have now, we have Shandee shots," she said.
This time last year the Blackburns celebrated Shandee's 23rd birthday at a teppanyaki restaurant on the Gold Coast - a memory Ms Blackburn will cherish for the rest of her life.