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Remembering Noah and a favoured place

By Chris Lewis | July 29, 2021

A playground in Paradise has been re-named and dedicated to a friendly four year-old whose smile once lit up the park that now bears his name.

Noah Zaja died July 18, 2020 as the result of a tragic accident.

On Tuesday, his dad Marko Zaja and his mom Pam Myles helped the Town of Paradise dedicate a new sign adorning the neighbourhood playground in Noah’s memory.

The park, located on Reardon Avenue, is a fully equipped playground for young residents to enjoy open space, picnic tables, a full stack of playground equipment and even a ball hockey court.

Mayor Dan Bobbett and Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Laurie joined the family in the unveiling of a new sign and dedication plaque at the playground.

Bobbett said the idea to dedicate the park came about after Noah’s family approached council in hopes of erecting a memorial bench. Now, the playground will be known as Noah’s Place.

“The Town of Paradise is honoured to be able to dedicate a playground in memory of Noah Zaja,” Bobbett said. “It is our hope that all families in the area and throughout Paradise who visit Noah’s Place find happiness, joy, and peacefulness, and think fondly of a little boy whose life left a lasting legacy.”

The plaque, the Town hopes, will serve as a place of reflection for visitors as they watch their own children play and enjoy the equipment available there.

“Noah was truly so special,” his mom Pam Myles said during the unveiling. “He loved to have fun and make others laugh … He loved and made the most of every moment, always flashing that beautiful smile and spreading joy everywhere he went.”

She said the family appreciates the outpouring of love they have received since Noah’s passing, including this dedication and a mural erected at Octagon Pond Elementary.

“There are no adequate words to express our gratitude,” she said. “Now, there is this extraordinary gesture on behalf of the Town of Paradise … When you lose a child, I think most parents’ greatest wish is that their child is remembered, that they’re spoken of and live on in the minds and hearts of others. Our family are so incredibly touched that Noah’s life and memory has been honoured by our community with this park dedication.”

Myles said Noah had grown fond of the community, specifically the park which is now renamed in his memory.

“He loved meeting our neighbours, especially as they walked by our home and he asked to pet their dogs,” she said with a laugh. “He and his dad and his little friend Dylan played here. His sister and her friends play here. As his brother grows, so will he. While we wish more than anything that Noah could be here to play and make new friends, we take great comfort in knowing that now, in such a special way, he still will be.”

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