Second Master of Brentwood School, David Taylor, and his wife Marisa (Head of Italian at the School), have travelled to Belgium to meet with hospital staff, emergency services and authorities and thank them for their valued help during the coach crash that involved thirty-four pupils and six teachers from the School at the end of June.
After visiting the AZ Sint-Augustinus Hospital in Veurne, which treated both pupils and teachers following the crash, Mr & Mrs Taylor, whose Modern Languages colleagues were directly affected, travelled to Middelkerke to present the Mayor, Janna Rommel-Opstaele, with a watercolour print of the School kindly framed by local business Neil Graham Gallery on Ingrave Road in Brentwood, and then met with representatives from the police, fire brigade, Red Cross and trauma team. The following day he met with the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose, the consular teams, and had lunch with a representative of the Secretary of State for Cooperation & Development, Bart Tommelein. Finally, he visited Sint Jan Hospital Emergency Department in Bruges, who treated a pupil for a fractured leg.
Speaking before he set off, Mr Taylor said: “I felt it was important to acknowledge the invaluable help, support and communication provided by the agency and consular team together with the emergency services first hand. My wife and I travelled to Belgium on the day of the crash (with Deputy Head Mr Jeremy Quartermain) and were astonished by the huge outpouring of help coming from all directions. The School owes them all a huge debt of gratitude.”
Headmaster Ian Davies also travelled to Amsterdam to meet with the British Consul who assisted the School and is based in The Netherlands, John Cameron-Webb, and presented him with a framed watercolour print of the School, a School crest, and gifts from the families of both pupils that underwent operations in the two Belgian hospitals in the aftermath of the crash.
The watercolour print had the following message added below it: “With grateful thanks and enormous appreciation for the rapid response and wonderful caring support you and your team provided to the pupils and staff of Brentwood School on Sunday 28th June 2015.”