School mourns shade sail death

Rhys Holland, 14, died in a Brisbane hospital on Friday, October 5, after falling on his head onto concrete from a shade sail at Whyrallah Road Public School the previous Sunday.
Rhys Holland, 14, died in a Brisbane hospital on Friday, October 5, after falling on his head onto concrete from a shade sail at Whyrallah Road Public School the previous Sunday.

A TEENAGE boy who fell through a shade sail at Wyrallah Road Public School and died has been remembered as an "energetic and vital young person".

Rhys Holland, 14, fell more than 2.5 metres and landed on his head, suffering serious injuries on September 30.

He died in Brisbane's Mater Hospital on Friday.

A former student of Trinity Catholic College, Rhys was described by his school principal, Brother Peter Carroll, as a "real boy's boy" and "vital young person".

"He will be missed," Br Carroll said. Rhys's death affected Trinity College staff during a teachers only day yesterday.

"We're devastated," Br Carroll said. "It's the first time a lot of the staff have lost a student. It was one of those accidents that could have resulted in a broken arm or leg but, because of the way he fell and landed on his head, it was much worse. It's a great tragedy and has taken everyone by surprise."

Br Carroll was unsure how students would react during their first day of term today.

 

"We expect there to be some distressed students," he said.

"We've notified parents and the community. We've asked parents and carers to take care of their children and monitor if they're okay."

The school usually has two fulltime councillors rostered but will have an additional three this week.

The school will also provide "time-out" spaces, where students can take breaks and think.

Rhys also played soccer for the Lismore Thistles and was remembered at the club's annual end of year presentations on Saturday.

"We had a minute silence for Rhys," club president Paul Albertini said.

"It has affected the club because we're a family-orientated club and a particularly tight-knit one."

This year, the club's under-14s side had too many players and Rhys was selected to play up in the under-16s second division side.

"We chose kids who we thought could handle it, and he handled it well," Mr Albertini said.

Queensland's coroner will conduct an inquest into Rhys's death because he died in Brisbane.

Trinity College students will be told about Rhys's death during an assembly today and a group prayer will be held.

Topics:  brother peter carroll, rhys holland, thistles, thistles soccer club, trinity, trinity catholic college lismore



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