for Allister

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People’s worlds collapse around us every single day. We hear of it on the news, read of it in the papers or online, and in our heads we assume, that will never happen to me. And maybe it won’t – but then again, sometimes it does, or to someone close to us. On Saturday evening this young man, 17-year-old Allister Maguire Buck was killed in a road collision in Stockton, Norfolk. He was a student at my school and in my year-group, and I know when we return after our half-term holiday tomorrow morning the rooms and corridors of our large sixth-form house will be heavy with the knowledge of his loss.

I can’t claim to have known Allister all that well. The most time we spent together was a week in Madrid when we both participated in an international session of the Model European Parliament – the above photograph was taken in the Spanish Senate at the Opening Ceremony (he went on to speak to over 200 people in the Spanish Congress as part of this opportunity). Yet although we were by no means good friends, his presence around school has always been one I was glad of. What was always immediately obvious about Allister – even more so as one scrolls through the countless condolence messages which currently flood my Facebook feed – was that he could make anyone crack a smile, regardless of the situation.

At times like these, people are sometimes told to consider the bigger picture, and on this occasion I think this is crucial. Allister has not been the only victim on Norfolk’s roads this weekend: an un-named 80-year-old man involved in a collision on Friday evening died the following day in hospital, and 14-year-old Shannon Goodson was killed in a collision involving a bus on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, five people were taken to hospital after a crash involving three cars on the A47, and this morning police had to attend a two-vehicle crash which saw yet another civilian taken to hospital for their injuries. This, all in the space of one weekend.

One injury is shocking. But three deaths and six injured in five separate accidents is simply appalling. Allister had his whole life ahead of him; the world was at his feet, until it was snatched from underneath him. He was loved and cherished by so many, and despite having known him far too little, I feel privileged to have spent the time I did with him.

Something needs to happen to prevent this from ever happening again – and it should not take death to convince us of that.

**update**

I’m more than a little overwhelmed by the response to this post; in just a few hours it has had just under 5,000 views.
This is, of course, no testimony to my writing, but to Allister himself, and I believe goes to show just the amount of lives he managed to touch in fewer than 18 years of life. I hope it is in some way something those closest to him can keep hold of in this difficult time. 

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7 Comments

  1. stuart hunt
    01/03/2014 / 11:31 am

    Stuart Hunt
    On behalf of all at 1st Bungay Sea Scout Group i would like to send out our heart felt thought to all the family and friends of Allister, I knew him while he was with us a both a cub and a scout, he was such great young lad, with a great outlook on life, he would always be the first to cause mischeif on camps but always be the first to help if something needed doing i know i can say this from the hearts of everyone who knew this great young lad he will be sadly missed. we the leaders of the cubs and scouts held a minutes silence and flew our flag at half mast as a sign of remberance for Allister and he will never be forgotten.

  2. 25/02/2014 / 12:59 pm

    Another tragic loss of a young life on Norfolk’s roads. Since moving here two years ago, it seems the news is always full of terrible road accidents, which are often fatal. There must be investment in road infrastructure to reduce this carnage, but sadly, I do not see any forthcoming. Regards from Beetley, Pete.

  3. Georgie
    25/02/2014 / 1:04 am

    such a lovely tribute! i went to high school with allister, and nearly everyone i know has shared the think on facebook! Everyone is in so much shock whether they knew him well or not! The nicest people are always taken first

    • 25/02/2014 / 6:21 am

      Hi Georgie,
      I’m actually reeling from the response it has had, with almost 11,00 views in fourteen hours and it being shared left, right and centre on Facebook. But I figure the world deserves to know about Allister, even if it wasn’t quite ready for him yet.
      Hope you’re okay in light of recent events.
      L x

  4. 24/02/2014 / 7:56 pm

    Loving and caring thoughts are shared …. Blessed Be )0(

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