Legacy Of Marcus Ames-Lewis Lives On
The Chiswick School pupil who died twenty years ago is remembered in annual award
Christabel and Francis
Talking to his parents and former teachers it is clear that anyone who ever met Marcus Ames-Lewis would find it hard to forget him.
Twenty years on from his death from a brain aneurism aged just 19 in September 1998, the memory of the larger than life, gregarious and kind spirited young man lives fresh in the memory.
That is partly due to an award his mother Christabel and father Francis have been presenting to students at Marcus’s former school every year since his death.
The Marcus Awards are awarded to a boy and a girl student at Chiswick School who display the types of characteristic that made Marcus such an unforgettable person.
Every year the pair visit the school to talk to Year 12 sixth form students about their son.
The students are then asked to vote for the peers they feel most embody the spirit of Marcus.
The awards are presented during the school’s Year 12 Awards ceremony each year, usually at the end of the summer term.
Christabel said: “After Marcus died so many people made contact with us. His friends met every day after he died just to talk about him. They talked to us about him.
“He had this unique quality of being able to draw people together, to make people feel ok about themselves”.
Head of Sixth Form at Chiswick School Karen Emmett taught Marcus. She said: “He was the most remarkable boy. He crossed boundaries, he had friends all over the school.
“Everyone knew him and everyone liked him. His death had a massive impact on the school and the whole community. He is till missed today.”
Christabel said: “People started to send us money and we thought about what we could do with this, so we set up the awards. The idea grew from there”.
Francis added: “Every year there seem to be clear winners. It is remarkable that characteristics like Marcus’s are readily identifiable in people.”
“If you felt fed up, he was the one you would go to. His personality was indefinable other than to say he was someone who was a good egg.”
The award is accompanied by a modest cheque which students are encouraged to spend on “an adventure, a course, needed equipment when they leave the school”.
Over the years, the pair have maintained contact with some of the award recipients.
Christabel said: “There was one girl who painted this wonderful portrait of Marcus. We still have it, it is in our study.
“There have been so many lovely letters and phone calls and visit from the recipients. We love to hear from them.
There is also an annual five-a-side football tournament, held at the old Chiswick Cricket Club ground, in September, in memory of Marcus and organised by his brother Orlando.
Francis said: “It is wonderful that some of the previous winners of the Marcus Awards come to it to join the friends of Marcus and of his brothers and sister.”
He added: “His legacy lives on.”
May 11, 2018