Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Sunday, July 17, 2016


            We, the comrades of Unit 1012, will remember the 298 people killed on the plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. Today, we remember two Western Australians, Arjen and Yvonne Ryder who were among the victims. Let us remember them; we offer our sincere condolences to the family members of the couple:

"So long as we live, they too shall live and love for they are a part of us as we remember them."
- Gates of Prayer

            Let us remember how they lived and not how they died. We will hear from their loved ones through these news sources and we will dedicate two prayers for them:


Yvonne and Arjen Ryder, who were on board flight MH17. Pictured here in France during their holiday: "Arrived safely at Toul in France we on the boat enjoying a drink. After a long delay with train strikes....:-)"

Agriculture expert Arjen Ryder and wife Yvonne among seven Western Australian victims of MH17 disaster
·         Trevor Paddenberg
·         PerthNow
·         July 18, 2014 11:41PM

A TOP agriculture department researcher who fought salinity for 30 years and helped rehabilitate thousands of hectares of land is among the seven WA victims on flight MH17. 

Arjen Ryder, one of the victims on board flight MH17.
Arjen Ryder and his wife Yvonne have this afternoon been confirmed among the dead on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.

It is understood the Albany couple were returning from a visit to the Netherlands, where Mr Ryder had family.

Mrs Ryder’s sister Anne Trudgeon told PerthNow she had a lost a “beautiful” sister and brother-in-law.

“I have lost my beautiful sister and brother-in-law last night on flight MH17. Words cannot express the grief we are going through,” she said.

“We love them very much. I will miss them. May God give us strength to get through this.”

One of his closest colleagues, Ruhi Ferdowsian, who worked alongside Mr Ryder at the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) for almost 40 years and co-authored several books and research papers on salinity, said the news was “devastating”.

Mr Ryder, 54, was due to return to work at the department on Monday when he was to receive a special award for 30 years of service as a senior technical officer.

The couple leave behind three children.

“I’m shocked. I loved ‘Arj’. He was loved by everyone in the department,” Mr Ferdowsian said.

“The crime that some people do and the result of that — taking the lives of innocent people — is just unbelievable.

“He was healthy, very active, sporty. He loved canoeing, he loved sailing. He was such a gem — a beautiful person. I miss him dearly.

“He made a lot of difference because salinity is a big issue. I was a senior resource officer and Arj was a senior technical officer working with me all these years since 1985. He was such a beautiful person. A lovely smile comes to mind. He was very approachable.

“He was a very close friend and a close mate. We loved working with each other. Farmers loved him and thousands of farmers in WA know him. He was very dedicated to his work.

“On field trips, we would stand by the lights of the truck and continue working hours after sunset. He was the kind of person who would put a lot of hours into his work without expecting anything in return. He was dedicated. He was cheerful. He was knowledgeable. He was just a beautiful person.”

Arjen and Yvonne Ryder from Kalgan, near Albany in Western Australia. Both Arjen and Yvonne were on flight MH17 that was shot down over the Ukraine.

Mr Ferdowsian said he saw his best mate just over a fortnight ago.

“He was supposed to get back to Perth and receive his 30 years of service award on Monday. Now that won’t happen,” he said.

“It’s a very sad day. More than 1000 people in Albany know Arjen, especially farmers. He has been writing, doing talks about his field work, and he did significant work on perennial pulses and the impact of them in reducing the extent of salinity. It was a joy to work with him.”

Mr Ferdowsian said he and Mr Ryder worked closely with farmers to rehabilitate saline land across vast tracks of WA’s south coast.

“They did the work and we did research and advised what to do and analysed results and came up with management procedures to reduce salinity,” he said.

He said Mrs Ryder was also a “beautiful person” and a wonderful mother.

“Their children were always very courteous, decent people. We have lost the core of a decent family in Albany. The community will be mourning,” Mr Ferdowsian said.

“The children, definitely, will be missing their father and mother. They have a very close relationship. It was a very close, loving family. They will miss their dad and their mum. If you want to find a symbol of a good family, Arj and Yvonne and their children were it.”

DAFWA this afternoon confirmed one of its employees was aboard the flight.

“We have been advised a DAFWA staff member was on the Malaysian airline plane that crashed overnight in east Ukraine,” a spokeswoman said.

“Out of respect for the family’s wishes, we cannot comment further at this stage. We will provide further details as soon as appropriate.”

July 18th, 2014

08:23 PM ET

It has been over a year since Drew Ryder saw his brother Arjen and his wife Yvonne. They Ryders are part of a large Australian family and Drew has been living in the United States for the last two decades. Arjen Ryder was a top Australian agriculture department researcher. He and Yvonne were returning home from a trip to the Netherlands when they were killed in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash. Drew Ryder shared his memories with Anderson Cooper. He described Arjen as one of the most generous and warmest people he ever knew. Drew also explained why he and his family are ready to forgive whoever brought down the plane.

He also shared photos of the Arjen and Yvonne with us.


Arjen Ryder is pictured third from the left

Yvonne Ryder

Minn. Man Lost Brother, Sister-In-Law In Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Tragedy
July 19, 2014 10:58 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man lost a brother and sister-in-law in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy.

Arjen and Yvonne Ryder were making their trip back home to Australia, after a trip to the Netherlands and France.

Arjen’s brother, Drew, lives in Willmar, Minn.

“My uncle called, said I have some terrible news,” Drew said. “Your brother and sister-in-law were on the plane that just crashed.”

Ryder was at work when he got the news from his uncle, who dropped the couple off at the airport in Amsterdam.

“It’s one of those things where you see tragedies around the world and you don’t think it’s going to hit home and that’s what’s happened,” Drew said.

Drew says Arjen and Yvonne were a positive couple who lived every day to the fullest.  He was a top agriculture expert in his country. She was a teacher.

“They really lived their life to the fullest, lived their life in a way that was a model that others could follow,” Drew said. “That’s what I’m hoping I can do in my life and I think the rest of our family feels the same way.”

Drew says he is ready to forgive whoever brought down the plane, crediting his faith for moving forward. He’s also borrowing some of his older brother’s positivity.

“It’s very difficult to lose a loved one, I’m not kidding you in saying that we’re hurting a lot,” he said. “But we also feel very comforted thinking they are in a better place.” 

MH17: Tragic end to dream Paris holiday for Arjen and Yvonne Ryder, Albany victims of MH17

  • PerthNow
  • July 20, 2014 3:14PM

ALBANY teacher Yvonne Ryder was “really scared” about flying Malaysia Airlines but her sister hugged her at the departure gate at Perth Airport and said: “You’ll be all right. God will be with you”.

Those words proved false when Mrs Ryder, 54, and her husband Arjen, 55, a respected Agriculture Department officer, were returning from visiting a sick uncle in Holland and a dream holiday to France and their MH17 flight was blown from the sky over Ukraine.

Prominent members of the Albany community and the Free Reformed Church, the couple leave behind three children, Robyn, 30, Drew, 26, and Tiffany, 24, and five grandchildren – the youngest just eight months.

Photos from their visit to Paris just days before the tragedy showed the couple posing under the Eiffel Tower and laughing as they fed each other snails in a French restaurant, while Mr Ryder, a keen cyclist, was thrilled to ride a vintage French bicycle.

Mrs Ryder’s sister Anne Trudgeon, 52, of Baldivis, yesterday choked back tears as she described the fateful conversation at Perth Airport.

“The worst part was Yvonne said to me, ‘I’m really scared going on Malaysia Airlines because of the other plane (that went missing over the Indian Ocean)’. But I hugged her and told her it would be OK. I said, ‘You’ll be all right. God will be with you’,” she said.

“I still can’t believe it. It’s all I hear in my head – that conversation. She was nervous going on that aeroplane.”


Yvonne and Arjen Ryder, who were on board flight MH17. Pictured here in France during their holiday: "Arrived safely at Toul in France we on the boat enjoying a drink. After a long delay with train strikes....:-)"
She said Mrs Ryder, a special needs teacher at John Calvin School, and her husband, a senior technical officer with the Agriculture Department who had authored many research papers about groundwater and salinity, originally only planned to visit relatives in Holland.

“But friends invited them on to their houseboat in France and they extended for three weeks.

They were so excited. It was so good for them. It was a trip of a lifetime,” Mrs Trudgeon said.
“Yvonne texted and sent me pictures every day. She’d never been to Paris and had never been on a trip like that.”

The last text message she received was at 7.20pm on Thursday night, just hours before tragedy struck.

They were confirming plans for the Ryders to stay at Mrs Trudgeon’s house next month for her son Reece’s wedding.

“I told Yvonne, ‘You can stay at our place’. That was the last text I sent and I never heard back,” she said.

“My sister was the most loving and giving person anyone could meet and Arjen was a great man – a family man who both loved God and would do anything for anyone.

“I miss them so much. I have lost my beautiful sister and brother-in-law. Words cannot express the grief we are going through.”

Yvonne Ryder was comforted by her sister at Perth Airport after she expressed fears about flying: “You’ll be all right. God will be with you”.
Ruhi Ferdowsian, who worked with Mr Ryder for almost 40 years and co-authored books and research papers on salinity with him, said the news had shocked Albany.

Mr Ryder loved sailing and canoeing and was a member of the Albany Cycle Club but his work was also a chief passion.

“He was loved by everyone in the department. Farmers loved him and thousands of farmers in WA know him. He helped bring back some very large areas of the western south coast that were affected by salinity,” Mr Ferdowsian said. “He will be sorely missed. They both will.”

Mr Ryder, an avid cyclist, was enjoying a bike ride in the Netherlands the day before he boarded flight MH17.

Yesterday, the Albany cycling club dedicated its weekly ride to the local member, who had been holidaying in Europe.

Mr Ryder began riding with the club last year but had only started racing this season.

In a post on its website, club president Bill Hansen said Mr Ryder was a well-liked and respected rider who would be sadly missed.

DAFWA director general Rob Delane said Mr Ryder was a highly regarded officer who had contributed more than 30 years of valued service with the department.

“We will miss a great friend and a colleague,” Mr Delane said.

Mrs Ryder was as a teacher’s assistant at John Calvin School in Albany for more than 10 years.

Principal Pete Witten said a special church service to remember Mrs Ryder was held today and people were relying on their faith and in God to carry them through the difficult time.


A cycling enthusiast, Arjen Ryder is pictured here riding a vintage bicycle in France just days before he was killed aboard MH17.

Malaysia Airlines MH17: Deaths of Arjen and Yvonne Ryder from Albany in WA's south 'shatters' family

July 21, 2014, 12:09 pm


WA MH17 victims Arjen and Yvonne Ryder's children read statement on behalf of their family.
The three children of West Australian couple Arjen and Yvonne Ryder say their parents "are in a better place now".

The couple were on flight MH17 and were returning from a seven-week holiday in France and Holland.

"They will be sorely missed as a mum and dad and as grandparents by the wider community and our extended family," their son said in a statement.

"Mum and Dad, Arj and Yvonne, were extremely generous, lived life to the full and were active in our church and community.

"Both were strong Christians who lived by their faith in everything they did."

Mr Ryder worked for the Department of Agriculture and Food and Mrs Ryder was a teacher.
Ruhi Ferdowsian worked with Mr Ryder for more than 25 years and was a long-term friend of the family.

He said the couple were loved as members of the Dutch Reform Church.

"The memory that I have of him was his lovely smile and approachable attitude," Mr Ferdowsian said.

"He was a very hard-working person, always on time, always dedicating his life and his time to his work and the task that he had in his hand.

"His wife also had a very lovely smile, she was a beautiful person.

"It was a beautiful family and now the core of that beautiful family is shattered, the parents are gone."

Mr Ferdowsian said the Ryders were very proud of their now-adult children.

"He was very happy with the children and what they were doing," he said.

Mr Ryder worked for the Department of Agriculture and Food.

He was a very hard-working person, always on time, always dedicating his life and his time to his work and the task that he had in his hand

Arj was extremely generous, lived life to the full and was active in church and community. He was a strong Christian who lived by his faith in everything he did.

Ryder, 54, had been due to return to work at the department on Monday where he was to have received an award for 30 years' service as a senior technical officer.

Arjen Ryder

As a number of us, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP are born again Christians, we will be commending two prayers from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for the loved ones of Arjen and Yvonne Ryder:

A Prayer for All Conditions of Men:
O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Burial of the Dead 1662:
ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give thee hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world; beseeching thee that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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