Friday, November 19, 2010

Remembering Graham – One year on

Stoke Mandveille School remembered Graham on 12 November with an assembly for the junior children, present and past staff, and others who had been part of the traumatic events of a year ago. We were all delighted that Towe, Graham’s father and his sister Jane were able to join us to mark this special occasion. Matt Ashmead, the new Headteacher, linked the event to Remembrance Day and the poppies which are a reminder of past events. The children could identify with this as they see on a daily basis all the tangible reminders around the school of what Graham had done for them and the areas which are dedicated to his memory – the library, the mini bus, the courtyard garden and the outdoor activity area. Year 6 children compiled a book of their memories of Graham - some of which were read out - and this was given to Towe as a permanent reminder of the event. There were some very moving tributes- both happy and sad – and there were tears and laughter. David Jenkins, the Methodist minister who had taken Graham’s memorial service in Stoke Mandeville church, then led the rest of the assembly, which included one of Graham’s favourite hymns and a special song, and there was time for everyone to reflect on the Graham they knew and loved. The school is moving on – and Graham would be pleased about this as he always wanted the best for the children – but this was a very special day which gave everyone time to stop and reflect and come together to share their memories of a much loved and greatly respected man.

Pat Aylett

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