Rosemont elementary’s kindergarten class dedicated their production A Forest Palette to classmate Alistair Bellefeuille last week as they mourned his loss. Bellefeuille died June 7 at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver of a rare brain tumour, a month shy of his sixth birthday.
“This was probably one of the hardest days I’ve had as an educator,” principal Tim Mushumanski told the Star this week.
“This has shaken us, but it’s also shown us how strong we are as a school community. We’ve been telling stories about Alistair and about the times we had with him. Our time with him was short, but it was great, which is why everyone calls him Alistair the Great.”
Mushumanski said Bellefeuille originally planned to perform alongside his classmates, and was always on their minds during the rehearsal process. When the kindergarten stood up to deliver their pre-performance message in unison — “We miss you, Alistair” — the moment had a gut-level impact on the audience.
“I really didn’t expect for it to be such a strong emotional reaction, but it really brought it all back,” Mushumanski said. “He should’ve been out there dancing with his fire wristband with all the other kindies. It was lovely for them to do that, but it was hard too.”
Shortly before he passed away, Bellefeuille got the opportunity to attend a Monster Jam truck show in California thanks to a Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a number of local fundraisers were held to support his family.
“We read him Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during his last days with us,” Bellefeuille’s family wrote in an obituary that appears in today’s Star. “Ali loved his family and we loved him so much; more than words can say. He had so much potential and will be sorely missed every day. He was larger than life and always will be.”
A memorial service will be held at Taghum Hall on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., and anyone touched by his life is welcome to attend. Donations will be accepted to Canuck Place Children’s Hospital in lieu of flowers.
Bellefeuille is survived by his parents, two sisters, grandparents, cousins, and a large extended family.