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Memorial held to remember US teen Dombroski

Hundreds of mourners packed the island's Catholic cathedral yesterday to remember tragic American teenager Mark Dombroski.

Mr Dombroski's family joined the multi-faith congregation to remember their son and brother, who was found dead on Monday after he disappeared when on a night out with rugby team-mates last Saturday.

His brother, Kevin, said after the service: “It's very, very emotional and it will remain that way for a while, unfortunately. This is a very emotional time.

“We could not be any more appreciative. We were blown away by the support and care the entire community showed and the service was beautiful and very well done.”

His brother John, known as JJ, delivered a eulogy for university rugby player Mark, 19.

John said: “The police have been fantastic, the regiment came out, the Governor and the whole community. It really means a lot.”

He also singled out Bermuda's rugby community for its support.

John said the family had been inundated with phone calls, texts and e-mails from “friends, family and strangers” since Mark's body was discovered at the bottom of a 35ft drop in the dry moat at Fort Prospect in Devonshire on Monday afternoon.

He added that one stood out from Mark's middle school basketball coach, who Mark had contacted when the coach suffered a health crisis.

The coach said the message had “warmed his heart” and that Mark was the only one of a few hundred youngsters he had coached to send his best wishes.

John choked back tears when he remembered a “terrible” water-skiing accident where he almost lost an arm.

He said: “I came to, floating in the water. One of the first images I saw was my brother Mark jumping in to try and get me out.

“That's really the person Mark is — really selfless and always trying to help out.”

He added: “This is still very much an active investigation, so if anyone knows anything we would greatly appreciate any information they might have.”

Mark, from Pennsylvania, was in Bermuda to compete in a rugby tournament with his team from St Joseph's University in Philadelphia, which is run by priests from the Catholic church's elite Jesuit Order.

Bishop Wieslaw Spiewak, leader of the island's Catholic church, said Mark's “passion” for rugby had brought him to Bermuda.

He added the island was “the place of his last game” and “his stairway to heaven”.

Bishop Spiewak, who is originally from Warsaw in Poland, said the Polish-descended Dombroski's surname meant “oak man” in Polish.

He added the wood was prized for its strength and durability.

Bishop Spiewak said: “That's not just a name — it's a mission.”

He told the congregation: “What is amazing is we're here and there is no difference in race, religion, whatever. We are here because we want to be.

“We are able to go beyond divisions, beyond races, beyond religions, beyond nations. It would be great if we could remember this day.”

A visibly moved Superintendent Sean Field-Lament of the Bermuda Police Service, also a stalwart of the island's rugby scene, said after the service: “It's sad that we have to have a moment like this to come together, but I am proud of Bermuda, proud of the rugby community and my thoughts are with the family.”

Paying tribute: Kevin Dombroski spoke about loss of his brother (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published March 24, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2018 at 11:46 pm)

Memorial held to remember US teen Dombroski

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