Elif Yavuz and Ross Langdon who were killed in the Nairobi shopping mall attack Photo: Leigh Henningham
Ross Langdon, the young Australian architect killed in the Nairobi shopping mall attack, has been buried on the island he left to make good.
Mr Langdon, 32, died in the al-Shabab shootings beside his partner Elif Yavuz, and their unborn daughter, as they visited the Westgate mall on September 21.
At his funeral in Hobart on Friday he was remembered as an adventurous boy who became a gifted architect with global connections who worked to improve East Africa.
“As we liked to say, the Tassie boy made good,” said Sydney architectural mentor Drew Heath.
“It seemed like everything was coming together for him,” Mr Heath said. “But that has come to an end.”
Mr Langdon grew up on the Tasman Peninsula, east of Hobart. His brother Craig said he left Australia after qualifying as an architect at Sydney University, in pursuit of “the” project that would cement his future.
He lived in London then moved to rural Uganda where his most definitive work was said to be the 2011 Kyambura Safari Lodge, built by local people with recycled local materials, including rust-streaked corrugated iron.
Practice partner Ben Milbourne said the lodge was the most complete expression of their philosophy of designing sustainable buildings using local materials and skills.
“Ross was the band leader,” Mr Milbourne said. “We laughed a lot, and really believed in what we were doing.”
He met Dr Yavuz, a Dutch medical researcher, at a nightclub in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
They moved to Massachusetts while she completed a Harvard doctorate, and returned to Tanzania this year where she worked for the Clinton Global Initiative as a malaria specialist.
Mr Langdon was in the early stages of contesting a proposal for a $ US35 million museum around the world’s oldest hominid footprints, in Tanzania. The pair were also considering moving to the Netherlands where Dr Yavuz’s family lives.
Although Mr Langdon’s achievements were in architecture, brother Craig said his greatest achievement would have been the birth of his child. “During a recent Skype conservation I had with him, he was notably happy and excited.”
Dr Yavuz and their daughter have been buried in the Netherlands.