Elephant carving remembers family
Visitors to the education department at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo may notice an unusual “pupil” leading the way into the Learning Den, used by schools for education sessions.
The beautiful wooden carving of a baby elephant has been created in memory of two young schoolboys and their father who have both connections with the Zoo and with education in the area.
Tim and Luke Harris and their father Richard, died in a boating accident on Lake Garda, Italy in August 1998. Mother and wife Catherine Harris survived, together with three members of a Scottish family who were with them that fateful day.
At the time of the accident Richard Harris, 50, was head teacher at Brewers Hill Middle School in Dunstable, Catherine Harris was a senior teacher at Harrold Priory Middle School, Tim, 13, had just completed four years at Goldington Middle School and Luke, six, was a pupil at Hazeldene Lower School in Bedford. The family had been involved in education in Bedfordshire for 20 years.
The elephant sculpture came about as a way of providing a tangible talking point for the many children who attend educational sessions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the famous Learning Den. It was commissioned and created by local sculptor Daniel Cordell.
Funding came from the Richard, Tim and Luke Harris Memorial Fund, which was set up by Catherine Harris as so many people who had known the family wanted to remember them in a positive and constructive way. Students, parents, extended family and friends all contributed and in the past money has paid for several educational/ play activities at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo; a place which held some happy memories.
The plaque alongside the elephant reads: “An elephant never forgets. This little pachyderm, carved in memory of Richard, Tim and Luke Harris, affirms that they will never be forgotten”.