The community will come together on Monday, January 15 to remember Lachlan Foote, described as a gentle, generous soul, who was caring and radiant.
The 21-year-old from Blackheath died unexpectedly on new year’s day, just one day before his 22nd birthday.
Lachlan had returned home about 1.45am after a few drinks celebrating new year’s eve with friends in Katoomba. He gave his mum Dawn a hug and wished her a happy new year before making himself a protein shake. He then went to the bathroom, where he blacked out and never regained consciousness, said dad Nigel Foote.
The popular young man worked at Scenic World in Katoomba for five years, leaving about a year ago.
“Lachlan’s friendly nature and incredible generosity touched the hearts of so many staff, visitors and friends during his time at Scenic World. He was a dearly loved rides team member and such a lovely guy – always with a smile,” said Scenic World managing director Anthea Hammon.
“His vibrant personality, infectious laughter and his fantastic musical talents will be greatly missed by the entire community and we send our thoughts and sincere condolences to his family and close friends during this difficult time.”
Working at Scenic World, Lachlan had saved up enough money to take a year off and planned to travel or go to university to study something science related.
“He was excited by the announcement that Australia would develop a space agency in a few years,” Mr Foote said.
“Lachlan loved anything to do with the stars and the universe and said to me, only two weeks ago, that ‘if I had the chance to go into space, dad, I would’. Well, perhaps he has.”
Lachlan was a gifted guitarist, and gave his time to perform for benefit concerts and causes, like the Haiti Earthquake benefit and the concert to save the Mechanics Institute at Lawson.
He loved computer games and medieval history, and over the years had enjoyed being active – playing tennis, cricket and archery.
Lachlan went to Leura Public School, and spent his high school years at Korowal School, where principal Barbara Fitzgerald described him as “the gentlest of souls; thoughtful, ethical and honest”.
He would bring freshly-baked biscuits to school made by his mum, much to the delight of students and teachers alike.
Mrs Fitzgerald recalls many a casual conversation with Lachlan, who would stroll up to her at school and say, “I haven’t seen you in a while. How’s life going for you?”.
Korowal music teacher Kim Poole remembers Lachlan’s “presence/nature/spirit … simple, uncomplicated, open-hearted, generous, giving, caring, considerate”.
“The music we made and shared, his enthusiasm and desire to participate and contribute with his classmates and friends ... a beautiful soul.”
Many friends have taken to Facebook to share their thoughts on Lachlan’s page.
“We are sorry beyond what words can express. We're in shock. His absence will be deeply felt in this community,” wrote Rachael Brady.
“Rest assured he is deeply loved by all who were lucky enough to have known him. Your son is a beautiful human,” wrote Aido M Gillett.
Mr Foote said the family appreciated the outpouring of love from the community.
Lachlan’s funeral will be held at Korowal School in Hazelbrook at 10am on Monday.
A coronial inquest into the cause of Lachlan’s death is ongoing.