‘The Thompson Garden’ is officially opened at Christie

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A COLERAINE school welcomed a very special former pupil last Wednesday.

Local actress, Jayne Wisener, went back to her roots to officially open a new £50,000 playground at DH Christie Primary School.

The celebration marked four years of hard work by the pupils, staff and Parents’ Association to raise the money for the play area which boasts a central performance space, sand pit, growth area for each class to nurture their own plants, and ‘quiet’ and sensory areas.

Named after former principal, Terry Thompson - ‘The Thompson Garden’ was officially opened by Jayne, and Mr Thompson’s wife, Vivienne.

It was an emotional day for Mr Thompson’s widow and her son, Peter, but she told The Times that Terry - headmaster at the school from 1979 to 2002 - would have been thrilled with the new play area.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vivienne said: “It is a very proud moment for us.

“Terry and I spent our lives here at Christie. Our children were all pupils here.

“It’s a school that is full of love, there is no unhappiness.

“Terry would have been thrilled with this new play area. It’s emotional to return, but now that I’ve broken the ice, I’m sure I will be back again.

“Christie is a great place, Terry made a good school a great school, and it’s great to see Mrs Campbell continuing this.”

Current principal, Mrs Jennifer Campbell paid tribute to the late Mr Thompson. She said that he was ‘revered’ by everyone who worked with him.

Mr Thompson’s memory will live on at the school in the form of a special plaque located in the central performance area of the new play area.