Victims of Tunisia terror attack to be remembered in Brighouse

Father Paul Webb at St Martin's Parish Church, Brighouse, where the minute's silence will be observed for the victims of the Tunisia Attack.
Father Paul Webb at St Martin's Parish Church, Brighouse, where the minute's silence will be observed for the victims of the Tunisia Attack.

Victims of the Tunisia terror attack will be remembered as a Brighouse church opens its doors to support the community.

Reverend Paul Webb of St Martin’s Church and St John’s Church Clifton will use the church as a place for people to observe the National Minute’s Silence to remeber the 38 people, many British, who were killed.

Bernadette and Richard Paciukanis

Bernadette and Richard Paciukanis

A gunman, who is suspected to have links to the Islamic State group, opened fire on holidaymakers on the beach at Sousse which included a Brighhouse worker and his wife.

Rev Webb said: “I was following what was going on in the news and saw that there people from Yorkshire among the dead.

“I just felt it was appropriate that the church should make itself available to allow anyone who wanted to remember the victims and participate in the minute’s silence.

“This is a community vigil and I thought we should make the church available for the community in this difficult time and it was the right thing to do.”

Residents and people from the surrounding area will be able to attend St Martin’s church on Friday July 3 to observe the National Minute’s Silence at noon.

Grandparents Bernadette and Richard Paciukanis, an engineer at Halifax Rack and Screw Cutting Company in Brighouse, were sunbathing just yards away when the terrorist struck.

The couple were staying at the at the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the resort as a birthday treat for Mrs Paciukanis, 57.

She had just had a massage when the gunman began firing at holidaymakers.

Recalling her fear as she and others fled the scene of the horror, she said: “The massage person had just finished and I heard what sounded like firecrackers.

“He turned around and that’s what made me look, I saw a black figure and I just heard my husband shout ‘run’.

“I fell on the beach and I thought ‘I’m dead’, people were brushing past me.”

Mr Paciukanis added: “I turned to my left and I saw the man, he was moving from left to right with the rifle in his hand. I just turned around and said ‘run, run, just get out of here, run’.”

In the midst of the massacre, the pair separated, but Mrs Paciukanis managed to make it to the foyer of the hotel. She managed to hide in a cloakroom with hotel staff members,

Mr Paciukanis, 59, managed to find refuge in a nearby spa.

“I was just hoping my wife had managed to find safety, but I didn’t have my phone so I had no way of contacting her,” he said.

“I looked out on to the beach area, I could see the gunman walking past with his rifle as if nothing had gone wrong. I had to get out of the spa area and I passed the pool site and it was there where I saw all the dead bodies, covered in towels and blood splattered all over the floor. It was terrifying,” he added.

The couple managed to return to the UK in the early hours of Saturday morning.