THE PRINCIPAL of Friends School paid a glowing tribute to one of their former pupils Craig Lewsley who was killed in a car accident last Wednesday night on the Moneynick Road, outside Toome.
Elizabeth Dickson, described the 21-year-old, who left the school two years ago and who was training to be a doctor at Queens University, as an exemplary pupil with a promisng career ahead.
“Craig was a very fine young man,” she said.
“Craig was an exemplary role model within the school community, upholding the highest standards in all he undertook.
“He excelled within and beyond the classroom, but what really made him stand out was the quality of the relationships he enjoyed with others, pupils and staff alike, reflected in how the firm friendships he made in his year group continued beyond School.
“Craig was always generous with the time he gave to others, whether that was helping junior pupils as a Mentor at Friends’ or through community service in local residential homes whilst in the Sixth Form.
“His care and compassion were evident and underpinned his ambition to study Medicine. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.’
Craig who attended Moira Primary School left Friends’ School, in the summer of 2010 to go on to study Medicine at Queen’s University.
Teacher Stephen Robinson of Friends School said that Crai, a keen rugby player, was held in ‘high regard’ by all in the school community.
“Craig was an exemplary role model within the school community, upholding the highest standards in all he undertook,” he said.
“Academically, he was outstanding in the year group and he also was a talented sportsman, playing rugby for the 1st XV.
“The boys, captained by Alasdair Trimble, formed a particularly close bond on the School’s rugby tour to Canada in October 2009 and many of the squad members journeyed back from university to be present at the funeral service in Moira.”
Hundreds of mourners, packed Moira Presbyterian Church on Monday for the funeral.
The Rev Jim Briggs said: “Craig loved life, he loved people.
“His dream was to become a doctor, He did not need to be pushed, he drove himself achieving A grades in GCSE and A-levels.
“It was not all work and no play. He enjoyed sport representing Friends in rugby and enjoyed the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, camping in the Mournes and other pursuits, achieving bronze and silver awards,” the minister told mourners.
Describing Craig as ‘an unflappable, laid back type of person’, Rev Briggs told how the young student enjoyed travelling with his friends and his brother Glenn to music festivals across Europe.
Over 1,000 people joined a Facebook page set up in his memory.