A small crowd gathered in front of the queen’s residence building on Saturday afternoon for a short ceremony celebrating the life of Kamilla Lebel-Farrell.
Lebel-Farrell passed away suddenly in June at the age of 19.
The tree planting was coordinated by Queen staff and loved ones at Lebel-Farrell, and was planted in front of Gord Downie Pier with a clear view of the sunset.
Although she only spent a short time in Kingston, it was clear the significant and lasting impact that Lebel-Farrell, whom her friends and family called Kami, had on those around her.
Kindra MacKenzie, Queen’s student and friend of Kami, said that she was the best person she ever knew and that she speaks for many when she says that many lives have been improved by having Kami as a part of them.
“She always made sure to show kindness to the people she knew and never let anyone feel left out,” MacKenzie said.
“She would stand behind you no matter what and make sure to show you how much she loved you.”
The tree that will now mark Kami’s memory is a Serviceberry, chosen by Kami’s moms, Brigitte and Jen, with some input from close friends.
MacKenzie says the Serviceberry tree was finally chosen because of its bright colors in fall.
“The colors reminded us of the sunsets when we chose it, which was one of Kami’s favorite things in the world,” MacKenzie said.
“We also chose Serviceberry because we thought it was sweet because because it produces berries that birds love, there are always some hanging around the tree and we thought Kami would love to have birds sing all the time and hang out with she”.
Former Queen chaplain Brian Yealland stepped in to speak at the ceremony as Queen’s is in the process of filling its vacant chaplain position at the school.
Yealland commented on the support from the crowd and said that the love and pain he felt for Kami were very clear.
She said she hopes and thinks that those who loved her have been inspired by Lebel-Farrell and will want to honor her memory.
“That’s always the feeling I have, people will do something good with their lives and they will want to honor their memory,” Yealland said.
“It may be a good thing, but a horrible loss.”