The Wokingham Paper

VOICE OF WOKINGHAM: Creating a physical place for the victims

OUR hearts go out to the family, friends, students and colleagues who knew James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails — the trio of friends whose lives ended too soon.

When we think of loved ones, our memories are inextricably linked to places — where they lived, worked and socialised.

With this in mind, we support the calls for permanent memorials to these deeply loved individuals.

Tied to the centre of our community was James Furlong, a highly-respected teacher who has fondly been called a ‘nurturer’ in his tributes.

So deeply embedded within The Holt School community, it seems right to rename the humanities building in his legacy.

We are proud to see more than 3,000 people have signed a petition to build a memorial in Forbury Gardens.

Equally, it is important to create a place of remembrance for the local LGBTQ+ community — of which James, Joe and David were heavily involved.

We would also like to see a memorial at The Blagrave Arms, a place which will hold many special memories.

These physical places of remembrance can serve as a place for each community.

Here, their legacy will live on through people’s hearts and minds.

We are a town in mourning and we are a town that will not forget them.

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