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Old friends and neighbours remember Jill
Old friends and neighbours remember Jill

Jill Meagher's friends and former neighbours gathered outside her childhood home in Bull Creek yesterday to comfort each other and share their favourite memories of her.

Locals lit candles, wrote messages of support to Ms Meagher's family and brought flowers and old photos of the 29-year-old and her family, who were much-loved members of the neighbourhood.

Ms Meagher moved to the neighbourhood with her brother Michael and parents Edith and George McKeon in the early 1990s, and they all formed lifelong friendships with families along the small street.

Stories of playing spotlight in the street, cheeky childhood pranks and countless games of street hockey were shared by friends, who described Ms Meagher as an effervescent, kind-hearted and beautiful person.

"We all became so close, you couldn't help but be friends with the whole family, it was a wonderful environment for the kids to grow up in," said Linda Griffiths, who helped organise the get together.

"When Jill walked in a room, people would stop, she was just so full of life and so beautiful. We just can't believe this has happened, it's the most terrible thing. She will be so, so missed."

After the McKeons returned to Ireland in the late 1990s they stayed in touch with their neighbours and several travelled over to Ireland for Ms Meagher's wedding to husband Tom.

Mrs Griffiths' daughter, Vikki Cole, who was several years older than Ms Meagher, said she had fond memories of their childhood.

"We had so much fun as kids, street hockey, spotlight, climbing trees... it was the best place in the world to grow up," she said.

"Everyone who knew Jill, loved her. She made friends everywhere she went."

Many remained close as they grew up, and told of recent nights out with Ms Meagher and her husband.

Matthew Griffiths, who visited the Meaghers in Melbourne several times, said the tight-knit group were still coming to terms with the tragedy.

"Everyone is still in shock. Michael and Tom have been so strong, they're amazing. We wanted to do this to show we are thinking of them all over there."

He said he was overwhelmed by yesterday's march in Melbourne, which was a testament to the fact she had touched so many people.