REMEMBERING LUCY

Let me tell you about Lucy.

I first met her in 1985 when she was thirteen. She was a member of one of my third year Art classes in my first year of teaching. I remember the class well because due to some timetabling glitch Art was set against PE and as this was taught as single sex, we had this oddity of two all-girl and two all-boy Art classes.

My girls group were not quite the breeze I’d expected, and I must say I struggled a bit in the first few weeks to engage them. Then I had the idea of introducing a project based on fashion and graphic design. With some help from my old mate Rob, a Graphic Designer himself, I was able to show the girls ‘live’ design work that he had done for the now defunct fashion chain Chelsea Girl. They were able to see the designer’s thought processes as the designs were developed and pushed forward. Well, that was it. We didn’t look back. I remember it as being a happy and productive year.

Lucy stood out in that class. In fact, as I write these words years later, I can see her in that clasroom, hear her voice. I still have photographs of some of the work she and the others made that year. A bit shy at first she soon revealed herself to be bubbly, vivacious, hard working, intelligent, caring, kind, with a great sense of humour. A lovely person.

I think she would be quite astonished that my memories of her are so clear. But sadly she will never know, for Lucy, along with 201 other people was murdered by extreme terror group Jemaah Islamiyah in the appaling Bali bombings of 2002. Lucy and schoolfriend Emma had taken time out of their busy working lives, for what they thought would be their last package trip as single girls. Lucy had just got her own flat, her boyfriend was due to move in and she had recently been promoted. She had everything to live for. She was 30 years old.

As it happens, I knew Lucy’s mum Sandra. She worked in the school office and again, a sweeter person you couldn’t wish to meet. To lose a child to such a callous and wicked act is unimaginable. I can well understand her admission that she kept Lucy’s clothes in sealed polythene bags in order to preserve the last lingering traces of the smell of her daughter’s skin. Sandra also wears the jewellery Lucy wore on that fateful night and by which she was identified.

SCHOOL SKI TRIP Unknown Ski Guide, Lucy, Self and J. Harwood

SCHOOL SKI TRIP
Unknown Ski Guide, Lucy, Self and J. Harwood

 

There is a memorial to those Britons who lost their lives in the bombings in St James Park London, just behind Whitehall. I went there today and left some flowers.

So why am I telling you all this? I don’t know really, I suppose in a clumsy way what I am trying to say is that I still care.

 

Bali 2002 memorial, St. James' Park

© Andy Daly 2014

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6 thoughts on “REMEMBERING LUCY

  1. A lovely memorial Andy, Life is for living, sadly some are not with us for long, but leave our lives enriched with their presence. Steve

  2. Nothing could have prepared me for the wonderful tribute you paid to our daughter, Lucy, when I stumbled across your blog the other day. It is 14 years this October since we last saw her, Andy; 14 years since Bob and I kissed her goodbye at Heathrow and watched as she and Emma trundled through the doors of Terminal 2 pulling their cases behind them, never looking back, full of excitement for their longed for 10-day holiday to Singapore and Bali.

    I was filled with emotion as I took in every word you wrote. You brought Lucy alive again with your
    comments and we can’t thank you enough for your memories of her. We also have to thank you for placing the flowers at the Bali memorial in London – what a lovely thing to do. I wept as I read your blog and the tears still keep falling as I read it over and over again.

    We knew Lucy was very precious, what mother and father doesn’t think that of their child, but it takes a special person outside of the family to confirm everything we knew of her and to put it in writing too. We still miss her every hour of every day, nothing has changed for us since the day she lost her life. We cope as best we can – Lucy would be proud of our acting skills which have grown from poor to superb since her death.

    I can well remember the day you came for your interview in the mid-eighties. There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that you would secure your first teaching position following the interviews. You were young, different, exciting. It was because of you, Andy, that Lucy took GCSE Art, having had you as her teacher the year before. Today we treasure the results of her hard work so yet again we have to thank you for her legacy and the encouragement you gave her.

    Andy, as you well know from your visit to London, that on the ground surrounding the marble sphere at the Bali memorial are the words:

    YOU WERE ROBBED OF LIFE, YOUR SPIRIT ENRICHES OURS

    You have now enriched our lives by your blog Andy – thank you from the bottom of our hearts for still caring after all these years – Lucy must be raising a glass to you!

    In closing, I have a dearly loved brother, now in his mid-seventies, who has had Parkinson’s for over 20 years. A couple of years ago our son supported the Parkinson’s Society by cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End. You are very much in our thoughts.

  3. …oh, Sandra I really don’t know what to say…. I remember the day of my interview well! I was wearing a borrowed woollen suit which got soaked in a rainshower in my walk down from Northwood Hills. I sat in the staffroom talking to Jayne Willcox and Nicky Hampton.
    I still keep in touch with a number of staff. I still see a lot of Ann Mannion and we go and see Liz Robertson once a year. I catch up with Bill Wheeler once a week – I’m off to see him in a few minutes in fact.
    It’s been 16 years with the Parkinsons now, so the novelty has worn off and it’s a case of gritting teeth for the long haul.
    Do you still live in the area? My e-mail is andydaly25@hotmail.com should you wish to keep in touch.
    Thinking of you,
    Andy

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