A memorial for murdered child Glen Bo Duggan has been reinstated at his old school in Christchurch in a private ceremony on Sunday.
The 10-year-old was a student at Richmond School when he was beaten to death by Peter Wayne Ryder, his mother’s partner, in 1994.
His cousin, Becky Manawatu, whose family Glen lived with for about two years, said it meant a lot knowing he had not been forgotten, and how important he was to so many people for the short time he was here.
“His gentle nature is just something that we won’t forget and we miss him. We love him. We wish he was here.”
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Although Glen’s death had been painful at the time, having her own children made her realise how terrible the situation had been, she said.
“I just think that we should be doing so much more for children in New Zealand, making sure that these types of things don’t happen.”
The memorial was installed at the base of a silk tree previously planted in memory of Glen. The matching plaque had been rescued by Craig Hall, a friend of Glen’s, after Richmond School closed in 2013.
Hall made the concrete memorial, mounting the original plaque below a picture of Glenn. It is attached to a base made from an old piece of rimu from a demolished building in town.
He said it had been emotional to make. Due to a mix-up with the dates, Hall did not attend Glen’s funeral, and said he had never gotten closure.
“I didn’t get to say goodbye, so this is my way of saying goodbye.”
The site of Richmond School was refurbished, and reopened on March 31 as Arahina ki Otautahi. The facility is set up to help at-risk young people transition into school and other work-related training, and is the first of it’s kind.
Julian Phillips said his friend’s memorial was significant because the new facility intended to support vulnerable children.
“Essentially, Glen was someone that fell through the cracks, and what they’re trying to do here is . . . provide support so children don’t fall into the same circumstance [that] Glen fell into.”