It was an emotional day for those attending the memorial service for Tara Joan Varga at Angels Academy on Feb. 6, 2017. The event was themed a celebration of the “Life of Our Angel: Tara Joan Varga.”
The daughter of Dr. Chris Varga and Cherry Varga, Tara was diagnosed with being in the final stage of leukemia on January 25. Sadly, she passed away a few days later on January 28 leaving the Varga family to experience unexplainable grief. Word of her sudden death sent shock waves throughout the community of Abaco.
She was 10 years old.
Principal Barbara Johnson was the moderator for the memorial service. She called on Donnika Johnson to lead in the opening prayer and recite a poem called “I Lend You a Child of Mine.” Chad Taylor, a parent of the school, sang a touching rendition of “Peaceful Harbor.”
Father Chester Burton of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church was the guest speaker. In his remarks, Father Burton stated that he had just recently met the Varga family. He commended Dr. Varga in particular for leaving his home to come to The Bahamas. Dr. Varga was described as a good father and a good friend.
Father Burton went on to encourage the audience to appreciate life keeping in mind that there is something better that awaits us on the other side. Using an acrostic of Tara’s name, he described her as one who Touched lives. She was an Amazing person to her parents, peers and school environment. Tara was Resourceful in sharing with the other students and in giving of herself. Lastly, she was an Angel who was taken at a young age to become a part of God’s Kingdom.
Remarks were also made by Felemease Sawyer on behalf of the Department of Education, and she extended their sympathy and prayers for God to strengthen and comfort the Vargas during their time of sorrow. Jacqueline Estevez also brought condolences on behalf of the school’s board of directors as well as Kathy Key, wife of Central / South Abaco Member of Parliament Edison Key.
Key noted that they also have a daughter named Tara, who they were fortunate to still have with them, so she could not understand the loss that the Vargas were experiencing. She left them with a portion of Scripture from Ecclesiastes 3.
Next, Tara’s teacher Samantha Johnson delivered a tearful tribute as she recited the poem “Teardrops From Heaven.” Afterwards, the Angels Academy teachers joined hearts and voices together to sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Johnson made the final remarks before the tree planting ceremony acknowledging that she holds every child near and dear at Angels Academy. She was grateful to have known Tara for the short time she attended Angels Academy from September 2016 to January 2017.
During the tree planting ceremony, a lignum vitae tree was planted in Tara’s memory to signify life and for Tara to always be remembered. Father Burton reminded those who walk the school grounds to remember Tara each time they saw the tree that would be planted.
The students all gathered at the harbour across from the school for the release of balloons of pink and blue balloons following a prayer by Father Burton.