Wesley College gifted Jonah Lomu memorial flagpole

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

An emotional remembrance service in honour of Jonah Lomu was held at the rugby legends former school of Wesley College near Pukekohe. To mark the one year since his passing a flagpole was gifted to the school, by the colleges' old students to ensure his memory lives on.

Jonah Lomu, an iconic global figure who touched the hearts of many, and a beloved son of his mother.

"He's a loving boy, he's a caring person. To the school to the staff to everyone, I had not enough say thank you, thank you for your teaching, he learns a lot from here and he always remembers you guys," says Hepi Lomu.

Wesley College joined the Lomu family to remember their school superstar.

Former coach Amanaki Palavi said, “To celebrate the life of Jonah.  That's his gift to the Lomu family, to the Wesley family, to the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Nation.”

Former Wesley student Adrienne Vickers says, “Full of life, always generous of heart and always extremely loyal.”

Today's remembrance celebration has been one year in the planning by Jonah's school friends and Wesley College Old Students since he died after suffering a heart attack caused by his kidney disease.  The Jonah Lomu Memorial Flagpole is to ensure his memory lives on.

“For me and for every Wesleyan, we miss him dearly.  It's still raw, it's still hard to believe that his smiling face is not going to be here today, but I know that his spirit his wairua is here today, you can feel him,” says Anaru Hill.

"Let's say he wasn't confident when he started, so, he's an example, that anyone can achieve what they set their sights on achieving," says Sonny Christie.

When the college relocates to another location nearby in four years, the flagpole will also relocate.