James Denton’s name will live on in a bursary being created by his grieving family.
The 19-year-old died in hospital after being stabbed on the night of July 23 outside Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, and his parents and younger brother have set up the James Denton Memorial Bursary to honour him and to help someone else pay for a post-secondary education.
The James Denton Memorial Bursary is being administered through School District 71.
It will be presented annually to a student graduating from Highland Secondary School who is going into college or university and is interested in the trades.
James’s father David would like to see the bursary help someone who is from a lower-income family who needs some help getting a post-secondary education.
“It’s an opportunity for someone who would never have that opportunity,” he said. “There are lots of kids thinking ‘I really can’t afford that.’ When it comes to going to school, it costs a lot of money. James was lucky we put some money away. This is just to help out people who really don’t have the resources to help themselves.”
James was stabbed July 23 outside Georges P. Vanier Secondary School. A 16-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder. The suspect’s next court appearance will be Oct. 6 by video.
“We want James to be remembered,” said David. “James would like us to help somebody out for sure. James was going to be very successful. I know if he was successful, he’d be helping his buds out whenever he could.”
James’s younger brother Shane agrees.
“He wanted everybody else to do as good as he was doing,” he said.
Family friend Brian Norman says James was a real role model.
“He was a great example for all his friends,” he said. “That was the coolest part about James — he lived his life as an example. He didn’t tell people what to do, he just showed them.”
James was born in Nanaimo and spent time growing up in Port Hardy. His family moved to the Comox Valley in 2001.
He was an avid outdoorsman, and he bought his first truck with money he made cutting firewood.
“He spent most of his life up at Comox Lake, hunting, fishing and having fun with his dog, brother and friends,” said David.
James graduated from Highland Secondary School. He did a 10-month course at North Island College, and he was working as an apprentice for BC Hydro.
“He was well liked, never missed a day and never showed up late,” said David.
The Denton family is very grateful to their friends and family and to the community for supporting them at such a hard time.
“Their support has been amazing,” said Brenda, James’s mother.
Anybody who wants to contribute to the bursary can mail a cheque to the James Denton Memorial Bursary care of School District No. 71 — Comox Valley, 607 Cumberland Rd., Courtenay, B.C., V9N 7G5.
“Hopefully we can pick one person out each year who will get something out of it, and it might change their life,” sad David. “I know (James) would be happy we’re helping someone somewhere. We just want his name to live on and people to know what he stood for. Any donation’s gratefully accepted by us and definitely the person who’s receiving this.”