Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Park ‘build day’ elicits range of emotions
Read full Story http://www.cbncompass.ca/News/2013-06-11/article-3273780/Park-build-day-elicits-range-of-emotions/1
Impressive new facility in North River dedicated in memory of fallen hero
Alice Murphy had kept her emotions in check all day at All Hallows in North River on June 8.
The new community park being constructed at the rear of the school was to be named after her son, Cpl. Jamie
A native of Conception Harbour, Jamie was killed during a suicide bomber attack on his vehicle on Jan. 27, 2004.
He was the first Newfoundlander killed during the war in Afghanistan. Three other Canadian soldiers were injured
in the attack.
Jamie was a member of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. He was just 26-year-old when he died.
Exhibiting an impressive amount of inner strength, Alice held out until it was time to unveil the sign depicting her
As Sgt. James Butler and Master Cpl. Allan King tore away the plastic covering, Alice could no longer hold it in.
With Butler and King stepping out to salute the picture of her fallen son, and clasp around the arms by the
Honourable Frank Fagan, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, Alice let slip the tears she had
been holding back the entire afternoon.
With some 600 volunteers clapping behind her, Alice, along with daughters Rosemary Ryan and Norma Murphy
and granddaughters Kearsty Ryan and Jenessa Murphy, watched as the park was commemorated the Corporal
Jamie Brendan Murphy Community Park.
After the unveiling of the sign, Butler and King took turns hugging the emotional Murphy family.
“Today, we are giving a park in his memory, but it is more fitting than could be imagined,” sad Kearsty Ryan. “He
was my hero. He loved playing games, from softball to some games I’m not sure I know the name off. I know he
would have loved this park and would have been the first person out with each child to make them smile.”
Building a better play park
Putting together the Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy Community Park was a multi-day affair.6/18/13 Park‘buildday’ elicits rangeof emotions - News - TheCompass
Members of the planning committee, as well as community volunteers all chipped in on the backbreaking labour to
erect the new playground and memory garden in less than eight hours on June 8.
However, that does not count the three-day preparation done on the site, and the months of planning that went
into the $200,000 facility.
That included the some $100,000 raised by the planning committee through corporate donations, grants and
Lending a hand to the building of the park was the Let Them Be Kids foundation. Earlier this year, it was
announced the project had received a Helping Hand Award from the non-profit organization.
This meant that Let Them Be Kids would match the amount raised locally, dollar-for-dollar, for the purchase of
When asked what the building of the park meant for the children of the region, committee co-chairman Eddie
Russell struggled to contain his emotions.
“This is something else,” he said. “To see this many people come together in one day … and see it come to
fruition today, it is emotional.
“I’m proud of everyone.”
Prior to the construction of the new play park, the playground at All Hallows was in rough shape.
The site had been condemned by the Eastern School District last year, and was only reopened last spring, albeit
with a limited amount of equipment available to children. This was following a spirited effort of a group of parents
and school staff.
“The boys and girls in this region, in this school, in all of these communities deserve what they’re getting today,”
said school principal Kevin Giles. “As good as what any boy or girl would get in the country. That’s been my goal,
and my hope and my wish all of the years that I’ve been here.”
In the middle of the ceremony, the All Hallows choral collection sang an original tune entitled “We Have the
Chance of Our Lives.”
It was a reflection on what it means to the students to have a new play park to enjoy during the coming recess
breaks and lunch hours for years to come.
“This park is great,” said Grade 6 student Jonah Rodway. “All of the new equipment will be fun to try out and play
Editor’s note: See related photo slideshow and video on website. For more coverage, pick up a copy of the June
18, 2013 print edition of The Compass.