SIX white doves provided by White Dove Service were released in memory of the Philpott children on the first anniversary of their deaths.
The birds were set free during a fun family day organised by extended family members of Jade, Duwayne, John, Jack, Jesse and Jayden.
1.The aim of the fund-raising day was to provide a long lasting legacy for the children. The Mayor of Derby, Councillor Lisa Higginbottom, opened the event at Osmaston Park. She said it was important that the memory of the children was preserved for years to come. Ms Higginbottom said: “I think it is important that fun day was a happy affair where people
can remember the six children in any way they want.
“Although I did not know them personally, everything I have read and heard about them has led me to believe they were lovely, happy and fun-loving.
The event was well supported and the people of Derby and Derbyshire. “And I also think it would be great of this could be made an annual event in memory of the children.”
The fun day has received the support of Dame Margaret Beckett, MP for Derby South. She said: “One of the heart-warming but then distressing aspects of these terrible events was the way in which in the immediate aftermath the community rallied round and demonstrated support for each other.
“I think the fun day is a generous and marvellous idea to try and keep and recreate that community spirit.”
The six doves released have been provided by Steve Hearne, from Melbourne-based firm White Dove Service.
The 53-year-old started the business after getting made redundant last year by Bombardier. He said: “We offered our services when we read about the fun day. They are trained and operate in a similar way to homing pigeons, so after the release they will return back to us.” A poem read as the doves are released says:
Why has the Lord,
Called these children above?
Children so innocent,
And surrounded by love.
It’s unattainable to guess,
What God has in his plans.
We just need to remember,
That it’s all in his hands.
For these children now rest,
Away from any danger.
And the good Lord above,
Has six beautiful children in his manger.
The children died in a fire at their home in Victory Road, Allenton. Their parents, Mick and Mairead, and the Philpotts’ friend, Paul Mosley, were convicted of their manslaughter.