Joanna’s memory lives on

THE 10th anniversary of the death of a Malton woman in a road accident is being marked with 10 fundraising events.

The first will take place tonight involving a quiz and raffle at Suddaby’s Crown Hotel in Wheelgate, Malton, at 9pm.

Last Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of Joanna Rookes’ sudden and tragic death when she was struck by a car while unloading her own car in Newbiggin, Malton.

She was pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of the emergency services.

Her sister, Julie Render, told the Mercury this week: “As this is the 10th anniversary it just seemed appropriate to do 10 different things.”

A memorial mass was held at St Leonard & St Mary’s RC Church on Saturday - the same church where her family and relatives are parishioners and where her funeral was held.

“As well as the family and relatives there was a nice turn out by members of the parish and some people gave us prizes for the raffle,” said Julie.

Shortly before the accident Joanna, who was 35, had just returned with relatives from Glasgow where she had been watching her beloved Celtic team against Rangers.

She had a season ticket for Celtic and her family said she lived for her football, films and family.

Joanna, who lived nearby in Smithson Court with her parents, was helping to take suitcases out of her Ford Sierra car outside an aunt’s home when the accident happened.

The other car, whose driver was subsequently jailed, was then involved in a collision with a third car at the scene.

She attended St Mary’s RC Primary School in Highfield Road, Malton, - as did her sisters, Julie and Janine, and other relatives - and then went on to Malton School before working for many years as a medical secretary at Malton Hospital.

A memorial fund was set up in her name and thousands of pounds have been raised over the years from a series of events to support St Mary’s RC Primary School, including quizzes, a disco, an Italian evening and a barbecue.

An Ofsted report in 2003 highlighted the need for a library and a bigger hall at the school so the family decided to donate money raised from fundraising efforts and donations towards the library and its equipment.

Backed as well by a local authority grant work started on building the library, a bigger hall and new classrooms in 2008.

An official opening ceremony of the £500,000 extensions and Mass was then held at the school in 2009 led by the Bishop of Middlesbrough, the Rt Rev Terence Drainey.

The sisters’ mother, Caroline, passed away in November 2012.

Julie said the events this year will go to support the school through the memorial fund and other charities.

Individuals and businesses who may wish to donate prizes can contact Julie on 01653 697870.




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