22 September 2011, 10:04
It's been confirmed there's going to be a permanent memorial to Flt Lt Jon Egging - the Red Arrows pilot killed after the Bournemouth Air Festival.
The 33 year old was killed after his plane came down in a field shortly after the group's display.
Schoolchildren and students from Bournemouth will be invited to submit designs for the tribute, planned for Bournemouth's East Cliff. A competition will be launched to pick the best design and Jon’s wife and mum, along with the Red Arrows, will be invited to choose the winning entry.
An annual fundraising dinner and ball will also take place during the Air Festival, to raise money for the Jon Egging Trust.
The decision comes after Bournemouth Borough Council met with Jon’s wife, Dr Emma Egging and mum, Dawn, and spoke to the Bournemouth Red Arrows Association.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Peter Charon said, “It was a very easy recommendation for the meeting to make, because we have always said that the wishes of the family will be paramount. We are privileged to have been able to meet Emma and Dawn so soon, and that they had clear ideas about how they would like Jon remembered. They overwhelmingly want to focus on Jon’s life and the joy his flying displays brought to others, and suggested to us that a permanent memorial on the East Cliff would be the best way to do this.”
He continued, “By far the most popular suggestion from local residents and the many people posting suggestions on Facebook was for a permanent memorial, and we were happy to endorse that today. We can now take the next step by doing what we promised - providing a permanent memorial and, in addition, support Jon’s legacy.”
He added, “The idea of involving schoolchildren came from Emma Egging herself, and I am sure will go down very well indeed with local people.”
It is planned that the Memorial will be in place in time for the Air Festival 2012.
Other ideas, including a road naming, community garden and local young person’s scholarship through the Jon Egging Trust are still being considered.
The meeting also discussed a number of other ideas that have been put forward and ruled out a memorial at or near the crash site, a Red Arrows Museum or a statue of Jon Egging himself.