SION Mills Primary School has said a fond farewell to one of its longest serving staff members, in dinner lady Kathleen Moore.
Originally hailing from Ballylennan in Donegal, Kathleen has been living in Sion since marrying her late husband Alan in the 1960s and has been a mainstay in Sion Primary School. Initially at another school in the village, Kathleen arrived at Sion Mills PS in 1981, working as a dinner lady during the day and as a cleaner in the evenings, something which she eventually gave up.
Kathleen admits that she didn’t think she’d remain in the job so long.
“Honestly, it’s a surprise that I’m there so long and I’ve loved every minute of it to be honest. Friday was officially my last day but the school had a lovely presentation for me on Monday past. I received many lovely presents from both staff and parents alike; one teacher who had left the school actually came back just to give me a voucher as a farewell present. They’re also taking me out for dinner on the 10th of next month – I feel so spoiled!” she gushed.
It wasn’t just the adults with whom Kathleen resonated during her 42 years at to this school. The pupils were also very sad to see her go.
“The children all wrote me wee letters saying how much they loved me and how they’ll miss me,” Kathleen continued. “That was very emotional to see; I kept my composure during the presentation but I will admit that, as I look at them this morning (Tuesday) there were tears. They obviously liked me! It’ll be strange to not have to go back in, I’ll have to get used to that.”
She added, “I got on really with everyone at the school. I never had a cross word with child, teacher or parent throughout my time at the school. There was a time, when my husband died five years ago, that I did consider stepping away from the school but I was persuaded to stay. Now it’s time to go.”
So, now that Kathleen has retired, what’s next?
“I’ve no plans for retirement to be honest. I like walking so maybe, when the weather gets better, I’ll start to go walking with my sister-in-law; maybe I’ll even take a wee run into the school now and again to say hello. As much as I could have stayed at the school forever, I plan to relax and enjoy my retirement but I’ll still miss everyone terribly.”