Special charity pendant in memory of musician Vearncombe

Colin Vearncombe, who recorded as the artist Black, died in Cork car crash last year

The piece which commemorates the life and work of Vearncombe is in the shape of a smiling sun, and will be available in  gold and silver

The piece which commemorates the life and work of Vearncombe is in the shape of a smiling sun, and will be available in gold and silver

 

A special charity pendant was to be unveiled Monday in memory of Colin Vearncombe, a singer-songwriter who recorded as the artist Black, who died in a car crash in Co Cork last year.

The piece, which commemorates the life and work of Vearncombe, known for his hit Wonderful Life, is in the shape of a smiling sun, and will be available in both gold and silver.

It was designed by Camilla Griehsel, wife of Vearncombe, in collaboration with the couple’s sons and family friend jeweller Sabine Lenz of Enibas Jewellers in the west Cork village of Schull.

The inspiration for the piece was a silver pendant Swedish-born Camilla had had made for Colin shortly after the couple met in 1989, and which was afterwards worn by the musician as a good luck charm.

Proceeds from the pendant will go to the Cork charity Brú Columbanus, which provides accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in any of the Cork hospitals and a hospice.

The pendant, which carries an Irish language inscription, “Saol Iontach” recalling the musician’s 1980s hit, is expected to raise thousands of euro for the charity.

The idea for the pendant came from Ms Lenz, who, says Camilla, had been planning to create a special piece of jewellery for charity for some time.

Ms Lenz got the idea to create a charity pendant in memory of Colin during a special tribute concert for the singer in Skibbereen last August.

Jewellers

“Colin had actually left his pendant into the jewellers for repair shortly before the accident,” said Camilla.“When Sabine first approached me with the idea of creating a commemorative piece inspired by Colin’s pendant, I immediately said yes.”

The father-of-three, who had moved to live near Schull with his family 14 years ago, passed away in Cork University Hospital on January 26th last year following a road incident on route to Cork airport.

Several members of Colin’s family, including his wife and children, stayed at the Brú Columbanas facility in the Cork suburb of Wilton for about a fortnight before he passed away.

“To be able to be together as a family was so important at a time when we were so distraught; to be able to be sit together and eat together was so important,” said Camilla.“At that extreme and difficult time it was invaluable for us to be together with family from near and far in the haven that is Bru Columbanus.

“The facility is so airy and bright – it is like a haven and only a short walk from Cork University Hospital. For that and for the amazing love and support from our community we are eternally grateful.”

Volunteers

Anne-Maria O’Connor of Brú Columbanus said the charity was a small one, with a full-time staff of three and more than 70 volunteers. “Each day we have to turn people away as we are always full to capacity, so it’s our dream to purchase another property and expand our services.”

The pendant is the latest initiative in his family’s ongoing commemoration of Vearncombe – his wife and sons have performed at a number of tribute concerts, participated in an RTÉ 1 TV documentary After The Crash which was screened some months ago, and are currently working on a tribute album of his songs.

The silver pendants will retail at €69 on leather and €75 on a chain, while the gold pieces will retail at €198 on leather and €398 on a gold chain. They can be pre-ordered online at enibas.com from May 1st and in-store from May 27th, one day after Colin’s birthday.