Manchester Terror Victim Georgina Callander Had Met Ariana Grande
‘I can’t get over this I never will,’ the superfan gushed on Instagram two years ago. The 18-year-old’s college identified her early Tuesday as one of the terror blast’s victims.
LONDON—Georgina Bethany Callander, known as Gina to her friends, had a smile that could light up a room.
The teenage Ariana Grande superfan had an Instagram feed full of tributes to her favorite performer, including camera-phone videos of the former Nickelodeon star on stage, images of herself posing in official merchandise, and—pride of place—a photograph of the two together.
Ariana’s arm is around Georgina’s shoulder. The teen’s caption reads: “SHE WAS SO CUTE ANS LOVLEY I HUGGED HER SO TIGHT AND SHE SAID SHE LOVED MY BOW I CANT GET OVER THIS I NEVER WILL.”
On Monday night, Georgina was murdered by a twisted jihadi with an improvised explosive device. She was just 18 years old.
She had decided to dedicate her life to caring for people—studying health and social care at a local college.
When she met Grande at the same venue two years ago, Georgina described it as the greatest night of her short life. Monday was the worst night in the lives of her brothers Harry and Daniel.
The family is from the picturesque Lancashire village of Whittle-le-Woods, but Georgina’s Instagram was dominated by images of glamorous meetings with musicians, authors, social-media stars, and actors, as well as concert tickets and nights out with her friends.
Her selfies and groups shots alike were enlivened by Georgina’s obvious joy for life; her deep dimples and broad smile.
Friend Liana Sarfati described her as “a living angel, the sweetest person that you ever did meet.”
“Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you,” she wrote on Twitter.
Other friends said she “lit up a room” and had “the kindest soul.”
Her former school, Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy, will hold a service later Tuesday. A spokesman for the school said: “Georgina was a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff and always made the most of the opportunities she had at the school.”
One of the stars Georgina recently met was Karen David, an actress and singer who stared in ABC’s Galavant musical series. She posted a photograph of the two together and wrote: “I’m deeply saddened to hear that this sweet, and beautiful lady, Georgina, who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to for awhile, only a couple of weeks ago at #SBUK3 was one of the innocent victims in tonight’s atrocity in Manchester.
“It’s not fair, it’s not right. It makes me so angry and it breaks my heart that such a young and promising life has been stolen away.”
The younger brother of YouTube sensation Zoella also posted his condolences after meeting the vivacious student.
British television actor Sean Maguire also remembered meeting Gina this year. “Just met this girl in April. She was so young & sweet,” he wrote.
The Lancashire college where Georgina was studying confirmed that she had been killed: “It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College. Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her health and social care course.”