The tight-knit group of volunteers from the Mornington Railway Preservation Society are mourning the loss of one of their members, Elaine Cairns, who died at Dandenong Hospital on Friday.
The 78 year old, who lived in Frankston South, is the first known local to have died of COVID-19.
Ms Cairns is survived by her sister Diane.
The statement on the Mornington Railway’s website and social media on Friday read:
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that the Mornington Railway informs its followers of the loss of a valued member of our railway family.
“Elaine Cairns, a friend to many of us, and a long serving member of our Marketing team, came home after an overseas trip recently and passed away this morning as a direct result of her contracting COVID 19.
“Rest in Peace Elaine, thank you for everything you did for us at the Mornington Railway and God Bless You”.
Numerous comments responding to the post spoke of the love and respect Ms Cairns had at Mornington Railway and beyond.
Margie wrote: “This is just so sad. Elaine travelled the world exploring all that it gave her & Diane. Age did not slow her down. She was always the most open & friendly to those who knew & liked her We all bless her who knew her.”
Luke wrote: “Elaine always had a smile for everyone, she was a beautiful soul. Rest In Peace Elaine you will be sadly missed by all.”
A Celebration of Life will be held for Elaine at a later time.