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Rock Gutter victim’s graduation certificate awarded to mother

Rock Gutter victim’s graduation certificate awarded to mother


The mother of one of the Rock Gutter tragedy victims said that she was moved to tears by the tribute paid to her son at the 2015 graduation ceremony of the St Vincent Grammar School.

Gloridene Hoyte-John was present at Wednesday’s {{more}}ceremony at the Methodist Church to collect the graduation certificate of her son Glenroy Michael, as that would have been his graduating class, had he survived.

“That was probably my first open, public crying. It was really touching… apart from that I held up, but intermitently, I felt so emotional.”

Hoyte-John said that seeing the other graduands in their uniforms brought back fond memories of her son, as he was a neat dresser — especially when it came to his own uniform.

“What made me cry was when we sang the National Anthem and then when the principal Mr King spoke about him, and the minute of silence.”

She also recalled that Glenroy, who was in Form 5 Arts, was very interested in computers and other digital technology — and had ambitions of becoming a computer technician.

“He kept to himself,” she explained.

“He had friends, yes, but was very quiet by nature… one of his nicknames was ‘Mad Scientist’.”

During his address, headmaster Curtis King said that had it not been for the “tragic accident” at Rock Gutter, Glenroy would have been present with the rest of his graduating class.

Before observing a minute’s silence in memory of Glenroy, King said that an entire page in the 2015 yearbook has been devoted to preserving the deceased’s memory at the school and among his classmates.

Class valedictorian Christopher Friday also paid tribute to Glenroy in his address, describing the loss as a “moment of real darkness” for the students and teachers closest to him — as well as the wider student body.

“The blow was sudden and painful,” he recalled.

Glenroy Michael was one of seven killed on January 12, 2015, when the bus they were travelling in overturned and plunged over a cliff at Rock Gutter, Fancy.(JSV)