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Passing of Bella Duggan

Dear St John the Apostle Community,Bella_Duggan_1.jpg

It is with the deepest regret that I write to inform you all that Bella Duggan, a recent student of St John the Apostle Primary School, passed away on the morning of Friday, 19 April 2019. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family and their love.

Bella graduated Year 6 with us only four months ago and this year began an exciting high school journey in Year 7 at St Francis Xavier College. Bella was well known in our community. She was known for her wit, humour, initiative and kindness, particularly to younger buddies. She displayed enormous resilience and a sunny perspective in every situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with her mum Evelyn, her family and close friends at this very challenging time.

Due to school holidays we are not able to be together as a community to announce this sad news. We would have preferred to speak to all students together and to provide the relevant support any students may require. We recognise that our younger students will have had limited experiences of Bella and our oldest students will likely have had much more. Our Year 2 students will have been a part of our buddy program with Bella during their time in Kindergarten and Year 1.

We will be discussing Bella’s passing with many of our classes when we return to school next week. We will do this in a way that is sensitive to experiences of each group of students. If you choose to discuss news of Bella with your child I refer you to the following links that provide some advice on talking to young children about such matters.

https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/connecting-communicating/coping-with-trauma/death-how-to-talk-about-it

https://www.parentlink.act.gov.au/parenting-guides/all-ages/grief-and-loss

Please feel free to email your child’s teacher if you feel they need to know how your daughter or son is responding to this sad news. CatholicCare will provide additional opportunities for students to access counselling if they are needed.

At this time, we reflect on how it has been a blessing for Bella be part of the St John the Apostle story and we are truly thankful for the privilege of being part of her story; a true example of ‘love, truth and courage’.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

Kindest Regards,
Matthew Garton
Principal

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