A Beautiful Tribute: The Rebecca Sarah Oatley Memorial Bench

A Beautiful Tribute: The Rebecca Sarah Oatley Memorial Bench

On October 17, 2011, a memorial bench was unveiled in honour of Rebecca Sarah Oatley – a beautiful tribute to a life tragically cut short. This bench was not just a piece of furniture; it was a symbol of love, remembrance, and resilience in the face of unimaginable grief.

Rebecca's mother, Sonia, approached us with a heartfelt request – to make and donate a memorial bench marking the first anniversary of her daughter's untimely passing1. While we had never donated a bench before, this case deeply moved us, leaving us no choice but to assist.

The task came with a tight deadline: the bench needed to be ready for a press conference in Bridgend on September 17. During this event, Sonia planned to make a significant statement about civil action related to Rebecca's murder1.

We chose our signature FSC teak bench, the Chelsea 1500, for the donation. The top rail featured an inscription in the Times New Roman font, one inch high in two lines using upper and lower case1. The words carved into the wood read, "Remembering with Love Rebecca Sarah Oatley 28.02.1995 - 23.10.2010 Aged 15 Forever Young"2.

I personally travelled to South Wales to present the bench to Sonia in time for her press statement. After the conference, I transported the bench to Archbishop McGrath School, where Rebecca had studied1. There, it would serve as a poignant reminder of the joy and light Rebecca brought into the world during her short time here.

Sonia later sent us an email expressing her gratitude. She commended the craftsmanship of the bench and confirmed that she would be returning for another when she creates an additional memorial garden for Rebecca1.

News of this tribute reached various media outlets, including BBC News-South East Wales3, Sky News1, Daily Mail4, Wales Online1, and Daily Post1. The bench has since become a symbol of remembrance, not just for Sonia and her family but also for the wider community.

We are truly humbled to have been part of this tribute to Rebecca Sarah Oatley. Her memory continues to inspire us, reminding us of the fleeting nature of life and the enduring power of love. Rest in peace, Rebecca5.

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