Service celebrates life of St Albans teenager
- Credit: Paul Bishop
The St Albans Spanish community has joined forces to support a single mum following the tragic death of her only child.
An emotional memorial service celebrating the life of 14-year-old Saul Balogh Jones was attended by over 100 friends and family at St. Paul's Church in Blandford Road on Saturday.
Saul, who had a sensorial disorder, ADHD and autism, went to St Luke’s School for special educational needs.
The service was organised by parents of Saul's weekly Spanish school who created a memory book for his mum Sonia Balogh and a video with accompanying music that was shown at the service.
Saul's schoolfriends and teachers also attended with executive headteacher Stephen Hoult-Allen making a moving speech. A tree and accompanying inscription in the school's garden will be dedicated to Saul, and St Luke's new Minecraft Club will be named Saul's Minecraft Club in his memory.
There were also emotional messages from Sonia and her sisters Agueda and Elsa as well as Spanish teachers Rafa Munoz and Laura Angela Ortiz Collado. The service was hosted by Rev.Jono Tregale.
Saúl reflected his heritage in his love of Spanish comics, radio programmes and speaking fluently in his mother’s tongue.
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More recently, he discovered sports and a natural talent for cricket and javelin, but also enjoyed riding his bicycle and practicing parkour.
He also had an extraordinary connection with dragons, constantly drawing them and creating or building them, and a Lego display featuring dragons was created by his friends for the service.
After the service there was an informal picnic in nearby Fleetville Park with balloons released in Saul's memory.
Susanna Mateu, one of the organisers, said: “I think the key message from the memorial service is that from something so tragic we have created something very beautiful. We want Sonia to know that she's not alone and we're going to be here for her.”
A fundraising page to help support Sonia has already raised more than £10,000..
It says: "Saul was a 14-year-old St Albans boy who was taken far too soon, but who was much loved by family and friends and will always be in our hearts. He was born with the biggest smile and had a zest for life that was always there with him, in his playfulness and his wish to engage with everything and everyone.
You can still donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saulbalohgjones?utm_id=1&utm_term=BBz6n8VGx