Colin's Sunny Beach Memorial Bench

Today March 16th 2016 New Ross Educate Together N.S.  installed a Buddy Bench. This bench was no ordinary bench it was a sunny beach bench and it has a very special meaning to all 15 pupils of this fantastic school. It is in memory of a boy named Colin from the USA,  that although very close to us today, is not here on earth but a very bright Angel in heaven and alongside his family is  doing fantastic work even in his passing.

Colin's Mom sent me a some intimate information about who Colin was in this life:

"He was like a big teddy bear. He was much taller and heavier than all his friends and classmates. People say that Colin was an old soul, that he was born before his time. Colin went through a lot more than a child his age should have gone through. Colin lived with myself and his older brother Matthew, his father passed when he was six.

When Colin was in third grade he had a Birthday Party with his school friends, he asked that they not bring presents for himself, but instead bring a donation of clothing for children so he could donate to an organization called Cradles to Crayons. He was a very giving child. He never was disrespectful to his parents or his teachers. Colin was always joking and a class clown. He loved to dance and sing. Colin was a lineman on the Weymouth Wildcat Football team. He loved the beach and collecting rocks and shells.

Colin struggled with school he was on an Individual Education Plan for Math and ELA which put him in classrooms with other students with the same struggles. It did not bother Colin that he needed special help for school but others sometimes were being bullied. Colin always stood up for those students who would get bullied. His size played a key factor in assuring there were no more problems.

Colin had a lot of friends, he is very missed by all that knew him. He also comes from a big family. Colin always wanted to be around his family either for a visit or any holiday.

Colin especially loved his Irish heritage. Unfortunately he never was able to make a visit to visit hisrelatives in Ireland. His Great Grandmother Daley was from Ballyvaughan, County Clare and his Great Grandfather was from Swiftsheath, County Kilkenny. He has cousins today, the Hurley's in Lisdoonvarna and cousins in County Mayo and many in County Clare. 

His passing was 2 years this past 1/17/2016"

For more information about Colin and his mission please visit

Thanks to the Carlow Branch of the Irish Men's Shed for making the bench although the lovely art work was created by the teachers of the school, the children have yet to make their mark, I am sure they will.

Colin's Mom sent over these lovely t-shirts for all the children and teachers and even one for me. Thank you Lisa.

By now we all know the meaning of the Buddy Bench to promote friendship among our children and we use the bench as a visual aid in conjunction with the "Buddy Bench Aware" program that we have developed. Visiting these children today and other schools, we see that children are naturally loving, caring and pure of heart. It is our responsibility to provide a healthy environment that encourages these natural attributes.

We will return to New Ross after the Easter break to deliver our program and give each child their interactive workbook for keeps.

A bench fit for a King, I know from my communication with Lisa just how unique and special Colin was, his selflessness, thoughts for others and bubbly personality. We are proud to have part of him here in Ireland and in educating our children about friendship, love and caring for each other,what more would he want.

Thank You Colin and Happy St. Patrick's Day !

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