Portrush Primary School bade farewell this week to a stalwart not just of the school, but of the wider local community.
Maureen McClelland has served both as a dinner lady and a lunchtime supervisor for a remarkable 60 years!
Leaving the Kelly Memorial School as a 14-years-old, Maureen’s father secured her a job in the local school meals’ kitchen, located beside the train station.
The kitchen provided meals for all three primary schools in Portrush, the Kelly Memorial, St Patrick’s and Mark Street.
Indeed Maureen started work in the school meals system before Portrush Primary School was even built and clearly remembers the foundation stone for the new school being laid.
In the last decade or so Maureen has left the kitchen and taken on the role of Lunchtime Supervisor, a trusted member of staff, it is impossible to measure the number of children’s lives she has touched throughout her career.
Portrush through and through, Maureen still lives in the same house she was born in and has rarely ventured too far, never having been on a plane or boat! Portrush PS Principal, Carwyn Guy said: “Maureen has been a huge asset to school since it opened its doors over half a century ago. She has given incredible service, rarely missing a day and always bringing her warmth and smile to the children in our care. I was shocked when she decided to call it a day as I just assumed she would be here long after the rest of us had come and gone!”
Maureen attended an assembly in school, accompanied by her daughter Louise, presenting the children with their Pupil of the Month certificate’s before receiving a gift and flowers from the school, a small token of appreciation for her outstanding service.