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Remembering Maggie Boyle

On January 10, a ceremony was held in The Gambia to mark the opening of Maggie's Well. When Maggie Boyle died in November 2014, it was decided to donate part of the fund raised in her memory to The Gambian Schools Trust, a charity which she had supported since its foundation in 2001. The charity decided to spend the money to construct a well in a village on the underdeveloped north bank of the River Gambia, thereby bringing a safe, fresh water supply to an area which previously did not have one. This gift of health and life seemed singularly appropriate for Maggie, whose kindness and generosity is remembered by all who knew her.

The ceremony was attended by the whole community, Gambian officials, representatives of the charity, some of Maggie's close friends and her son, Joe, who performed his song Liza and Henry, which Maggie included on her final album. The plaque identifying the well includes two lines from the song which seem singularly apt:
“We'll keep looking for spring anew
Because there is nothing else for us to do.”

The Gambian Schools Trust was founded in 2001 by Christine Schofield (wife of Living Tradition contributor, Nigel Schofield). Its aim is to support and provide education in the small West African country and is run entirely by unpaid volunteers. Aside from supporting schools financially, the charity ships a container of school supplies, most of which are recycled from British schools who are disposing of them, to The Gambia each year. Since its establishment, the charity has built and funded five nursery schools as well as assisting dozens more throughout the country, set up a school meals programme in the schools it funds, built and equipped six libraries, assisted in the provision of solar power to schools and funded development schemes for teachers, as well as a huge number of other programmes designed to respond to immediate and long term needs.

Gambian Schools Trust website