On Saturday 28th October 2017 Jack Berry was killed whilst out cycling with friends training for a triathlon. At just 26 years of age, Jack was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following Jacks death, Jack's father John decided that as a family something positive had to come from Jacks untimely death. Something life-changing for the greater good had to be done to try and outweigh the anguish and pain that was felt from Jacks death. Jack wanted to open his own pub next year and have the chance to be his own boss with his own kitchen, menu and name above the door. So as a family they have decided that the money that would have gone towards this venture should still be go towards something that Jack was passionate about and would make him feel immensely proud of.
Jack’s wife Luisa's family on her father’s side originates from Naqia, Fiji and following Jack and Luisa's engagement in 2013, Luisa took Jack to Fiji to officially introduce him to her family as her future husband. Jack absolutely adored Fiji and would have moved there in a heartbeat - had it not meant him leaving his tight-knit family. He loved the family ethic, the humour and the back-to-basics living style. Jack was a leader, a teacher and had a beautiful heart and building something in Jacks name will be testament to how special of a man he really was.
The foundation's initial aims will fund the build of a desperately needed pre-school in Naqia, Fiji, with additional plans to upgrade an existing primary school with a new dining hall and computer lab with state of the art facilities.
Building of the Jack Berry Memorial Kindergarten commenced in Naqia at the beginning of February 2018 and was officially opened on Weds 15th August by the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama. The build was undertaken by 3 local contractors and was completed fully by hand. The foundations of the building were officially laid by the elders of the village, cementing the ever-lasting memories of Jack in the community and forecasting the positive changes that will come from the foundation.
The Foundation is run by family and volunteers. Every penny raised goes directly to help the children and the village of Naqia. The Fiji Islands are well known for producing talented rugby players, but few people are aware that the country in many areas is still underdeveloped and impoverished with many children not having access to the vital education they need from a very early age.
Jack always wanted to better not only himself, but everyone around him. If that meant losing weight, taking exams or just encouraging people to see the positives in life, he was always the first person to say "you can do it!” For that reason, many people have decided to better themselves in Jacks name and there are numerous events that are taking place in order to help raise funds for the foundation, including weight loss challenges, half marathons, sky divers, bungee jumps, afternoon teas, charity balls and even a 50 mile run which was completed on May 5th 2018 by his dad, brother, wife, uncle and friend.