Warning signs planned after death of Huntingdon teenager in River Great Ouse

Rony, second from right, was part of a cup win with Huntingdon and District Cricket Club. Rony, second from right, was part of a cup win with Huntingdon and District Cricket Club.

Friday, August 8, 2014
5:14 PM

Signs warning of the dangers of swimming in the River Great Ouse could be placed near the site where a teenager drowned.

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A crowd of people paid their final respects to Rony John at a church service in Huntingdon last Wednesday (July 30), after the 15-year-old, of Tomlinson Court, Huntingdon, drowned jumping in the river while playing with friends at Church Lane, Hartford, on July 24.

Hundreds of people from across the country filled both floors of St Michael’s Church, in Hartford Road, to see Rony before he was flown to Kerala, India, for his funeral on Sunday.

The service was attended by his father John Thomas, his mother Lizy John and brother Roshan John as well as other family members, his friends, members of the Huntingdon Alliance for Indians (HAI) and Huntingdon councillor Patrick Kadewere.

Val Ford, headteacher at St Peter’s School, Huntingdon, where Rony was a student, accompanied Rony’s friends as they paid their respects.

Huntingdonshire Chief Inspector Laura Hunt and Councillor Jason Ablewhite, executive leader of the district council, also attended.

Cllr Kadewere told the congregation: “This day will always be remembered as Rony will always be remembered. By his family, his friends and this community.

“We can see that Rony was a nice boy as there is so much support for his family and friends.”

Cllr Kadewere, on behalf of the Huntingdon Alliance for Indians, asked Huntingdonshire District Council members last Wednesday to erect a sign at the field at Church Lane to warn people of the dangers of the river.

The council said that it is willing to work with the HAI to put a warning sign and memorial bench in place, and was searching for who owns the land, but was not able to confirm ownership as The Hunts Post went to press last night (Tuesday).

Rony’s funeral took place in Kerala, India, where he grew up. A memorial service at the riverside in Church Lane will start at 1.30pm on August 18, with a two-minute silence at 2.30pm.

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