A Victorian community is in mourning after the sudden death of a talented young student, friend, and aspiring street artist.
Tributes are pouring in for 15-year-old student Balin Menzies who tragically died in his sleep on April 21.
Student Balin Menzies died on April 21. Picture: Greensborough College/FacebookBalin has been remembered for his ‘cheerful demeanour’. Picture: Supplied
He was a year 10 student at Greensborough College, a school located about 20km northeast of Melbourne’s central business district, and had been a long-time player for Watsonia Warriors Junior Basketball Club, joining at age seven in 2014.
Balin, also known as Posh, was an aspiring and talented street artist who regularly painted murals around Melbourne.
In the wake of the shocking loss, friends formed a memorial site in front of mural Balin painted at Greensborough Skate Park before his death.
A makeshift memorial has been set up in front of a mural Balin painted at Greensborough skate park. Picture: Supplied
They have placed flowers and cans of spray paint in front of the colourful mural and shared TikTok videos of the emotional gathering.
‘Posh’ painted the artwork as part of the New Hope youth program run by Banyule City Council.
Gone to young 4ever 15 LLB #RIP i appreciate everyone who came to his memorial #ripbalin#ripposh#LLB
♬ #3 – Aphex Twin
A week after his death, Greensborough College issued a statement about the impressive young student, saying he will be “sadly missed by all” and remembered for his “artistic talents and cheerful demeanour”.
“It has been an incredibly sad start to the term for the Greensborough College community as we mourn the passing of Balin Menzies, our student, classmate and friend,” it read.
“Balin began at the college in Year 7 in 2020. He made many friends and impressed teachers and students with his artistic talents and cheerful demeanour.
“Balin will be sadly missed by all.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”
Balin was a talented, aspiring street artist. Picture: SuppliedBalin was also known as ‘Posh’. Picture: Supplied
A number of TikTok videos have been posted paying tribute to Balin, showing him painting murals and mucking around with friends.
Captions declared it was “forever balin’s world” and he was “forever 15”.
“U were somthing (sic) different bro. We miss u already,” another wrote.
forever in my heart balin🤍
♬ to the stars – Shuttle
“Everyones (sic) lost without you balin,” one wrote.
“Words can’t describe how hard it’s been on all of us since you left, I know you would be proud of us everythings (sic) for you little guy fly high.”
Another said Balin was a “cult hero of Greensborough” and an “amazing soul”.
“I can still hear your voice and laugh bro. Nothing will be the same without you,” they wrote.
“He changed many people’s lives for the better, bringing a positive influence with his bubbly, joyful and humorous personality,” another said.
long live balin I love you so much 🤍
♬ to the stars – Shuttle
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Balin’s friend Jame Zammit. It has raised more than $19,000 since April 22 – well over its $4000 goal.
More tributes poured from those who donated to supporting the Menzies family, remembering the teen as a “tough as nails” basketballer, and a generous mentor and support to younger high school students.
It is still not yet known what caused his death.
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Balin’s mother posted in an online memorial will be held on Friday, May 5 at Petrie Park Community Centre in Montmorency.
She said guests will have a chance to speak during the service, or have their words read out and large sketchbooks and markers will be provided to “leave a tribute, a story, a note or a tag” for her son.