The heartbroken parents of Derry policewoman Philippa Reynolds have left a special memento at the iconic wooden temple in the Waterside.
Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds made the journey from their home just outside Belfast this morning to visit the temple which has seen visitor number of up to 15,000 this week.
Two years ago their daughter Constable Philippa Reynolds, 27, died in a collision on the Limavady Road while she was on duty with the PSNI.
This morning the Reynolds family were accompanied by Philippa’s colleagues from the police force, chief inspector Tony Callaghan and Derry’s Mayor Brenda Stevenson.
Overcome by emotion Phillipa’s father Mervyn said that just last night his daughter had been in his dreams.
“She’s always there,” he said. “We will never get over the loss of Philippa.”
He said that while he normally hides his feelings, occasions like this overwhelm him.
“Tony Callaghan got in touch with Dorothy to say they were preparing this memorial and asked would we come up,” he said. “He explained about the temple, but really we didn’t know much about it being from outside Belfast. But we had watched clips of it on the television.
“So we decided to get the train up.”
Mr Reynolds said he touched to see that the police had used a print of Philippa’s face taken from a family snap that the family all loved.
“We love that famous picture of Philippa, laughing, as she knelt down to get her shoe from the grate.
“Philippa was such a happy smiley person.
“The people of this city connect with Philippa, they haven’t forgotten her. Philippa worked here without any sort of politics. I am ex police myself and there was no politics in the job I did.
“I served the community and she was doing the same. That’s the way of it. It was just such a tragedy what happened that morning. Ten seconds earlier, ten seconds later, it wouldn’t have happened but as fate would have it they were travelling through those lights at that time.
“Today is a special event and it’s nice to share it with others, but for us as parents and for sisters, we will never get over the loss.
“As a parent you always think that your children are going to bury you and not the other way around.
“I still imagine going to the front door and seeing Philippa there.”
Derry’s Mayor Brenda Stevenson said today was monumental for the Reynolds family to come and leave such a special piece at the Temple in the city where Philippa had such an impact when she was here working. She was known to so many and always had a smile on her face. It is such a nice way to remember her.”
The family left a plaque with had the poignant words Daughter, Friend and Colleague inside the Temple in a place designate by creator David Best.