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Grenfell Tower victim Vincent Chiejina honoured by Thanet school Ursuline College and Old Augustinians

By Matt Leclere

A former Kent schoolboy who died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been honoured with a special prize awarded in his memory at his old school.

Vincent Chiejina, a pupil at the St Augustine's College in Westgate-on-Sea in the 1970s, died in the disaster at the west London tower block on June 14, 2017.

He was a gifted mathematician and won the school's annual maths prize in 1976 before going on to study electrical engineering at Sheffield University.

Grenfell Tower victim Vincent Chiejina in later life (13883140)
Grenfell Tower victim Vincent Chiejina in later life (13883140)

Mr Chiejina's sisters, Obi and Maria, attended the Ursuline College awards day - the school merged with St Augustine's when it closed in 1995 - to present the maths prize for 2019 in their brother's honour.

The trophy, donated by the Society of Old Augustinians, was given to Year 9 pupil James Cole for excelling in maths throughout the school year.

Mr Chiejina, who went to St Augustine's between 1973 and 1976, lived in a flat on the 17th floor of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

He had just turned 60 when he died and was known as a kind man who went out of his way to help others.

Vincent Chiejina attended St Augustine's College in Thanet from 1973 to 1976 (13883142)
Vincent Chiejina attended St Augustine's College in Thanet from 1973 to 1976 (13883142)

Obi and Maria described their brother as a "selfless and caring" person who would "never reject anyone" because they were not as privileged as him.

Towards the end of his life he was working with a charity in the capital working with similar-aged men as himself.

Andrew Sharp, vice chairman of the Old Augustinians thanked Mr Chiejina's family for attending, saying: "At school, friends and teachers remember Vincent as an intelligent, quiet, obedient and a hard-working student, always kind and respectful to those around him."

Other prizes awarded included the Stephen Owusu-Ansah Community Cup for kindness to fellow students.

It was presented by his widow, Ade Owusu-Ansah, and Old Augustinian, Keith Fenton, to Emanuela Samadi, who is in Year 7.

Vincent's sisters Maria and Obi with Old Augustinian Andrew Sharp, maths prize winner James Cole and Old Augustinian Keith Fenton (13883136)
Vincent's sisters Maria and Obi with Old Augustinian Andrew Sharp, maths prize winner James Cole and Old Augustinian Keith Fenton (13883136)

The prize for modern foreign languages was presented by Old Augustinian, Richard Caraccio, to Year 9 pupil Weronika Mastalerz.

St Augustine's College was located in Westgate-on-Sea from 1971, just a few hundred yards from Ursuline College.

Classes were held between the two schools until 1995, when St Augustine's closed, and pupils continued to study at Ursuline College.

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