Family devastated over removal of son’s memorial shield at Southwick school ceremony (From The Argus)
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Family devastated over removal of son’s memorial shield at Southwick school ceremony
The family of a boy who drowned are campaigning to save a memorial shield dedicated to his name.
The Purves family were left “devastated” when they discovered that the shield, which has been used for the past 30 years, had disappeared from Eastbrooke Primary School in Southwick.
Andrew Purves was nine when he drowned on a family holiday on the Isle of Wight 33 years ago.
In memory of the youngster, family and friends raised funds to present his school with the Andrew Purves Shield – to be awarded to one outstanding pupil a year.
Andrew’s mother Gloria Purves, of Brighton Road, Lancing, recently went to her granddaughters’ swimming gala and realised the shield was gone.
When she asked why the shield was not in the cabinet, she was told it was no longer going to be used because the school had changed its name.
Ms Purves said: “We are insulted and disgusted – me and my mother left the gala in tears.
“I used to like to have a look at the shield whenever I went into the school.
“Obviously I think about Andrew every day, but it was nice to know that the school were remembering him and his nieces had a nice reminder.”
Andrew’s sister Sherrian Purves has now launched a Facebook campaign – entitled Save the Andrew Purves Shield – which has received more than 90 likes in a few days.
When her eldest daughter Taryn started at the school six years ago the family were pleased to see the shield was still on show.
Two years later, the school changed its name to Eastbrook.
The family wrote a letter to the school and were told the shield would in fact be used as a swimming shield.
Ms Purves said: “Out of anger and despair I started the Facebook group and am overwhelmed at the support I have been receiving.
“Since Andrew died I have felt like half of me is missing. I have never felt complete, and this campaign is taking an emotional toll on me.
“I want to see my brother’s legacy live on. He should not be forgotten because of a name change.
“We just want Andrew’s memory to live on.”
The school has said they will review the situation in September.
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