OUR talented son has left a legacy that will endure for generations.
That was the heartfelt message from the family of Will Graham as a community came together to witness the unveiling of a stunning memorial to the teenager’s life.
Sixteen-year-old Will, a gifted pianist predicted to achieve excellent exam grades, was found hanged at his home in Sapphire Ridge, Waterlooville, after coming back from Crookhorn College on March 5 this year.
And on Saturday, family, friends and staff honoured him by unveiling a beautiful digital grand piano at the college which students will now use to hone their skills and can be used for performances and recordings.
The piano includes a plaque to Will, entitled Just Keep Dreaming – a song he composed. His parents, Paula and Andy Graham, launched a fundraising campaign to raise £10,000 to buy the school a new piano.
Speaking to The News, Mr Graham said: ‘This means everything to me. It has sent the message that Will had so many people who loved him, who were inspired by him. I knew he had friends, but I never really knew how much he was really loved.
I am the proudest dad in the world, someone who has lost a great son in the world. There will never be a replacement for him, there never can be.Andy Graham
‘I am the proudest dad in the world, someone who has lost a great son in the world. There will never be a replacement for him, there never can be.’
‘Will has left a legacy, and as far as I am concerned, he hasn’t gone, he is still at this school.’
Proud mum Mrs Graham said: ‘It’s overwhelming. This is a legacy and whether people knew him or not, they will know of him and what he meant to everyone.’
The college’s head of creative arts, Adam Brunink, played a poignant performance of Jacoret on the new piano – a song he composed.
A pear tree was also planted in the college’s new garden – on the day of what would have been Will’s 17th birthday – with a Just Keep Dreaming plaque.
Mourners were given the opportunity to use a spade to put some soil around the tree.
Paying tribute, headteacher Grahame Sammons said: ‘Will was a student who embodied the Crookhorn ethos.
‘He performed, composed and enjoyed music to the full, a very important part of his life.’