Keeping their memories alive
A tale of tragedy and loss has turned into a story of opportunity as a new bursary has been created in honour of Valerie Feltham and Tammy Bekkers.
Thirty years ago, the two young students lost their lives on their way home for Reading Week and that loss is still felt every day. Friend and housemate Jennifer Mondoux (Arsci ‘94), is keeping their memory alive in perpetuity by creating the Valerie Feltham and Tammy Bekkers Memorial Bursary.
The bursary will support students studying Political Studies or French.
“What’s so remarkable is the legacy of their friendship,” Jennifer says. “Even 30 years later, what’s still so clear and impactful for me are a few things really. First was their intelligence and our shared intellectual pursuits. We were on the same page – we all went to high school together and we came to Queen’s together. It was great to have two very close friends at university with me.
“Second was their wit. They both had very sharp senses of humour. We were on the same page with what we thought was funny and we had so many good laughs together. Number three was how much they loved the people who were important to them.
They were two beautiful friends.”
Jennifer says the idea for the bursary came from meetings with Laura Costello, FAS Senior Development Officer and adds she’s felt a close affinity to the university over the years. “What I love about the bursary is it will keep their memories alive in perpetuity. I’m thrilled with it, their families are on board, and now I just want to get the word out.”
She wanted to create the bursary to ensure that people never forgot the impact both Tammy and Valerie had on herself and others during their short lives.
“To this day, when I have a connection with someone, I really value it because it’s often rare to truly connect with people. I truly connected with them,” she says. “There are a lot of people who think about them every single day. It’s important people don’t forget.”
For more information on the Valerie Feltham and Tammy Bekkers Memorial Bursary visit the website.