Causeway Pre-School opens playhouse in memory of Jim

Carla, Keeva, Tierna and Patricia Smith at the official opening of Jim's House in memory of their dad and husband.
Carla, Keeva, Tierna and Patricia Smith at the official opening of Jim's House in memory of their dad and husband.

Saturday saw the official opening of ‘Jim’s House’ at Causeway Pre-School in Portrush in memory of the playgroup’s founder member, Jim Smith.

The Causeway Street playgroup was packed with children, parents and friends who gathered to remember Jim and to enjoy a fun day which also raised money for the Cancer Fund for Children.

Toman Chmielewsky and his daughter Maja enjoy the fun day at Causeway Pre-School.

Toman Chmielewsky and his daughter Maja enjoy the fun day at Causeway Pre-School.

Jim’s wife Patricia and their three daughters - Keeva, Carla and Tierna - were in attendance at the event which was organised to officially open an outdoor playhouse for the children.

Keeva Smith spoke on behalf of the family: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for coming along today and thank the sun for making an appearance.

“The Causeway Pre-School meant a lot to Daddy and to see it progressing so well would have given him such joy.

“We would like to thank the committee because without them this playhouse would not have been possible. We would also like to thank the parents and children of Causeway Pre-School. We hope it will bring fun and laughter for many years to come,” she concluded.

Sophie, Zoe and Paul in the teepee.

Sophie, Zoe and Paul in the teepee.

Current playgroup leader Karen Baird welcomed the Smith family to the event along with parents, children and staff, past and present.

She described the late Jim Smith as “dedicated, intelligent and supportive”.

“Jim gave so much of his free time to ensure that the staff were happy in their jobs and that the children were happy here. Nothing was too much trouble for Jim. For example, once before an inspection, we were told that the wall height needed changed and in just a couple of days, Jim had a wall trellis built. He also made all the outdoor musical equipment for the children. He went above and beyond what is expected of a chairperson. He will always remain in our hearts.”

She thanked the local businesses who had helped to make the fun day to open Jim’s House such a success - Ethersons Butchers for the meat for the barbecue, Portrush Deli Company for the baps for the barbecue, Morelli’s for ice cream, Royal Portrush Golf Club for use of a gazebo and barbecue equipment. She also thanked the parents, committee and staff, both past and present, of the Pre-School.

Back: Joan Ferguson (past group leader) and Karen Baird (playground leader). Front: Charlene Dougan (group assistant), Charlene McAuley (group assistant) and Kim McAuley (past group leader).

Back: Joan Ferguson (past group leader) and Karen Baird (playground leader). Front: Charlene Dougan (group assistant), Charlene McAuley (group assistant) and Kim McAuley (past group leader).