This year’s Tony Wood Award, presented by Aljezur International School, has been won by Year 12 student Noya Lahav.
The annual award is given in memory of retired fire chief Tony Wood, a dear friend and valued supporter of the school who died in December 2011 at the age of 52 following a short battle with cancer.
The award was first presented in 2012 and, every year, students are asked to nominate three of their peers who they feel have shown compassion, empathy and kindness throughout the academic year. The student with the most nominations is awarded the prize, and Noya was overwhelmed when this year’s result was announced.
“I just want to thank all of you who nominated me, and I have to say that everyone in this school deserves the Tony Wood Award because you are all so kind,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I believe that being kind is also in small gestures like saying ‘hello’ or smiling at someone. And please remember to be kind to yourself too.”
Tony’s wife Sue, who lives in Lagos with her partner David, was there to announce the winner. His daughter Sophie is an ex-student of Aljezur International School and she had travelled from the UK with Tony’s granddaughter Lenni to be there for the award. On holiday from the UK were also Tony’s brother Martin with his daughter’s family.
As part of the ceremony, all the students of the school were presented with “Being The Best At” awards which were announced by Tony’s family members, as well as awards for academic and sporting achievements.
Sue said: “It is wonderful that the school Tony was so fond of keeps his memory alive by presenting this award every year. Before he retired, Tony was presented with the Queen’s Fire Service Award at Buckingham Palace and it meant more to him than any of his other medals because his peers nominated him. It’s perfect that the Tony Wood Award is given in the same spirit.”