Ballymagroarty garden named after the late Jim McCallion

People taking part in the mens health event at Inch View organised by the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership and NHIP. Included, from left, are Jim McCallion, Roxanne Nixon, BHCP health development worker, Declan Thompson, Paul Ward, John O'Hagan, Paddy Nash, James Nash and Margaret Cunningham, Habinteg. (1906PG17)
People taking part in the mens health event at Inch View organised by the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership and NHIP. Included, from left, are Jim McCallion, Roxanne Nixon, BHCP health development worker, Declan Thompson, Paul Ward, John O'Hagan, Paddy Nash, James Nash and Margaret Cunningham, Habinteg. (1906PG17)

The Ballymagroarty Men’s Health Group have named their community garden in Shaw’s Court after one of their members who died suddenly several weeks ago.

Jim McCallion, who was originally from Strabane but had been living in Derry for 20 years, was 45 years-old when he died and his sad passing impacted deeply upon his friends within the group.

“Jim, like myself, was one of the founding members of our little group,” said Jim’s friend and Men’s Health Group treasurer, Paddy Nash.

“Jim lived in Ballymagroarty for years and told the worst jokes I have ever heard but he was great company. Jim had his own problems but he helped so many others in the group with theirs. We all miss him,” he said.

Jim’s friends and family gathered at the community garden in Shaw’s Court on Friday evening where his brother Eamonn was invited to unveil the plaque and officially name the garden the ‘Jim McCallion Memorial Garden’.

“This is such a lovely thing the people of Ballymagroarty have done for Jim. The family are delighted and I am sure Jim would be happy too,” said Jim’s sister Jacqueline McBride.

Colin Canning is a member of the Men’s Health Group and helped to organise the event.

“We only found out after Jim’s death that in his spare time he would help to look after the garden at the local chapel and I don’t think one of his neighbours ever had to bring in or put out their own wheelie bins. Jim was a great friend and I am really sad he is no longer with us.”