Tributes for student who died saving friend

first_imgSt. Peter’s College has been left “shocked and saddened” by the death of a popular and talented student during the vacation.Jonny Fraser, 21 from Pinner, drowned in powerful currents in Verkala, India, while attempting to save a fellow swimmer he had befriended during his trip. She was eventually saved but Jonny was overcome by the current.Jonny was due to return to begin his third year of a PPE degree at St Peter’s College, where friends are said to be devastated by the loss. JCR President Omar Shweiki said, “St Peter’s has been deeply shocked and saddened by the death of one of our community’s most enthusiastic and popular members, and is only just beginning to come to terms with our loss”.A passionate talker and keen thinker, Jonny was looking forward to a career in banking and, just prior to his trip to India, had been offered a place at Rothschilds Bank in Mergers and Acquisitions. He then planned to teach.Joe Hacker, an SPC student and friend of Jonny’s since the age of 15, said, “I’ve never met anyone so optimistic and passionate, especially with respect to his ideal future in banking and then teaching… Knowing that the first part of his dream was just slotting into place makes his death all the more painful to bear.”His interest in politics and discussion made Jonny a lively and engaged student as well as friend. Dr Tim Mawson, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at St Peter’s, who taught him for many of his Philosophy papers, described Jonny as “perceptive and enquiring” and “determined to get to grips with the thorny and various problems we tackled together.”Jonny’s serious attitude to work was coupled with a great sense of humour, and Dr Mawson recalled Jonny’s ability “to explore thoroughly some philosophical question and yet laugh just as thoroughly at some of the answers ventured to it, including very often those ventured to it by ourselves.”Dr. Hartmut Mayer, Fellow and Tutor in Politics at SPC, also remembers Jonny as “a special student who combined passion for the subject with intellectual rigour.” Dr. Mayer added, “He was always willing and able to challenge conventional wisdom, and he had all the qualities we are looking for in our brightest students.”A former member of the Oxford Union’s Secretary’s Committee, Jonny was often embroiled in a discussion on politics or philosophy. Joe Hacker described to Cherwell that zest for argument: “One of his closest friends said of Jonny that he would rather have been disliked for his views that to have remained indifferent; I whole-heartedly agree.”Tributes to Jonny stress that, above all, he was a good friend. Thomas Lind, a student at SPC and friend of Jonny’s, told Cherwell: “Johnny was a great kid, and everyone liked him; and obviously, despite the love for bullshit banter, damned good in a foxhole.”SPC’s flag was flown at half mast as a mark of respect during the period after Jonny’s death and on the day of his funeral. The Master of St Peter’s College, Professor Bernard Silverman, said: “It’s a terrible blow to lose such a bright, talented and promising student as Jonathan. He was immensely popular with teachers and students, and will be greatly missed.”“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.” Peter and Bette Fraser, Jonny’s parents, said “We will always treasure the years we had him with us. Jonny would have wanted us to make something positive out of our grief and as dutiful parents, we have always tried to do what Jonny told us to.”A public memorial service is planned and details will be announced after the beginning of term.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005last_img read more