Refurbished memorial garden opened at Monkstown School

Principal Nigel Pell-Ilderton and vice principal Raymond Leeman with staff, governors and family and friends of former pupils and teachers at the official opening of the memorial garden at Monkstown Community School. INNT 26-515-SO
Principal Nigel Pell-Ilderton and vice principal Raymond Leeman with staff, governors and family and friends of former pupils and teachers at the official opening of the memorial garden at Monkstown Community School. INNT 26-515-SO
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Lost loved ones, friends and colleagues were remembered at a special event in Monkstown Community School on Friday morning, June 26.

The school, which will become Abbey Community College from September, hosted a short service to mark the official opening of its recently refurbished memorial garden.

Set amongst the school buildings, the small green space - with its memorial benches and plaque, planted areas and outdoor classroom - will serve as a permanent tribute to the staff members and pupils who sadly passed away during the lifetime of the school.

Thanking all those present for attending the event, principal Nigel Pell-Ilderton thanked staff at the Co-operative store at Beverley Road in Carnmoney for helping create the memorial garden in 2012, and all those who raised money to help further improve the space.

He paid tribute to the efforts of teacher Raymond Leeman and the learning support assistants and pupils who recently completed the refurbishment of the garden area.

Asking those present to bow their heads for a short period of reflection, Mr Pell-Ilderton said: “Three of the most powerful words in our language are ‘We will remember’, and we must never forget as a consequence of that.”

Mr Leeman read out the names of the staff members and pupils remembered in the memorial garden: Stephen Rankin, Margaret McMaster, Jim Graham, Bobby Mills, Grace Fleming, Gail Hall, Jennifer Baird, Dorothy Snoddy, Neil McFerran, Jordan McDowell and Paul Williams.

“It’s been a real privilege to work on this garden and it brings back memories for me of all the folk who are represented here,” he commented.

Mr Leeman drew the short service to a close by reciting the school prayer.