A late student from Gateway Christian School was honoured this past Friday and will be remembered throughout the school’s playground.
In memory of Chase Brewster, 12, who was killed in a tragic accident last August, a climbing wall was named after him in his memory and is now part of the playground.
The climbing wall was given to the school with donations from the Chase Brewster Memorial Trust Fund as well as funding from the school.
After Chase’s passing the family started the fund under his name. The fund was started to offer an ongoing remembrance and to provide money to assist families in need within the community.
“Chase was a boy of real character and had a compassionate heart,” said Rob Moltzahn, principal of Gateway Christian School. “I know he would have been the first student who would have wanted to use the climbing wall as he had such a zest for life.”
With the dedication of the wall Chase’s brother and sister Hunter, 11, and Morgann, 8, got to officially open the wall by cutting the paper that was wrapped around it with help from Chase’s friends.
Chase’s father Steven was able to say a few words to the crowd about his son and thanked the school for their kind support.
“Chase was a big part of this community and he would be very proud looking down on what is going on today,” said Steven.
The teachers and staff came up with the idea of the wall to remember Chase and got together with his family to make it happen.
“We got together with the school and they wanted to do something in his memory and help keep his spirit alive around here and remind people the kind of example Chase was,” said Steven.
Stories about Chase were also shared and memories of him by his Grade 6 teacher Jim Driedger who remembers Chase as being a great kid to have in his classroom.
“The one thing that stood out to me was Chase’s grandmother referring to him as a shining stone. When you think of a shining stone you think of something that is standing still but also very bright and that is how I remember Chase in Grade 6. He had a lot of character.”
“Some of his friends said they now think of Chase changing from a shining stone to a shining star,” said Driedger.
In Chase’s memory his family also designed a web site and a t-shirt and put three great qualities that he possessed on it to help keep his memory alive as well.
“When you think of Chase you can’t help but smile, and when I think of him his shirt says it all, courage, perseverance and character, which are three qualities that God gifted him with,” said Driedger.
With the opening of the wall Driedger said that Chase might say “Come on guys, enjoy that wall. It’s a memory of me.’
“Chase had character and he was a character. He truly was a special kid and in his own way he made people feel comfortable and special.”
Driedger also encourages the boy’s friends and other students to talk about Chase and to share their favourite memories of him with each other and to smile about them.
Moltzahn added that he often thinks of Chase whenever he passes the wall or drives by and can’t help thinking it is the perfect way to remember him.
“From the very first day it was set up the kids just absolutely gravitated to it because it is so unique and so special. There have been a lot of kids who said they see him hanging by the wall sometimes and with it his memory will last forever,” said Moltzahn. “It is a chance for us to have something here that we can remember him by all the time and it represents the kind of boy Chase was. I am so glad we have it.”
If you wish to donate to the Chase Memorial Trust Fund or purchase a t-shirt visit www.chasebrewster.com.