Jul 3 2008 by Shirley Bartynek, Hamilton Advertiser
YOUNGSTERS at a Hamilton school last week paid tribute to a fellow pupil who passed away last month.
Hamilton College children took part in a special celebratory service in memory of S1 pupil Kim Gardner.
The 12-year-old, from Lanark, had battled with cancer for almost four years but she showed courage, continuing with her education until the week she died.
Kim began at Hamilton College in J1 of Junior School and fast became a popular friend and pupil.
In her time at the college, she excelled academically and, in addition to her school work, was an active member of the Jesus and Me Club (JAM) and Girls Brigade.
Kim was elected President of the Pupil Council by her classmates and volunteered as a Buddy to support and guide younger children.
Kim’s English teacher Jane Cook said: “Kim was a remarkably able child, full of enthusiasm and imagination.
“She was very determined to be an active member of the school and never took any shortcuts. She was determined to maintain her attendance and homework to the very best of her ability, despite the constant physical exhaustion she was fighting against.
“She was such a genuinely special girl; full of sparkle and warmth. The whole college community feels the loss deeply and it was felt that planting a tree was a small but significant way of recording her influence on the school.
“Later this year daffodils, Kim's favourite flowers, will be planted by her friends so she will be remembered every Springtime to come.”
To commemorate the positive contribution Kim made to the school community, a cherry tree was planted in the college grounds on Monday, June 23.
It was followed by a special service held in the assembly hall. Kim’s parents David, a police chief inspector, and Elaine, an inspector with the Force, were presented with a handmade book containing pupils’ and teachers’ favourite memories of Kim.
The couple also received a cheque for £500 from the College Yearbook Committee for CHAS’s Robin House, where Kim spent time in the last few months of her life.
A great many students attended the tree-planting ceremony where Kim’s younger brother Adam (8) led the planting of the tree and placed a plaque to commemorate the impact of his sister’s life at Hamilton College.
It read: “In memory of our friend Kim Gaynor Gardner, 6th January 1996 – 21st May 2008. An inspirational student. A shining example of courage and grace.”