A Donegal woman who has been serving dinners in a Tyrone primary school for over 40 years has decided to hang up her apron.
Kathleen Moore from Ballylennon in St Johnston has been living in Sion Mills since marrying her late husband Alan in the 1960s.
She has been a much loved feature of the local primary school’s canteen since 1981, serving meals to generations of young people and staff.
Speaking as she prepared to put down her ladle for good, Kathleen told the Donegal News she didn’t think she would remain in the job so long.
“It is 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. I received so 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,” she said.
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.
“That was very emotional. I kept my composure during the presentation but when I looked at them all afterwards there were tears.”
Looking to the future away from the corridors of Sion Mills Primary School, Kathleen added, “I got on really with everyone at the school. I never had a cross word with child, teacher or parent throughout my time here.
“There was a time when my husband died five years ago that I did consider stepping away but I was persuaded to stay. Now it’s time to go
“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.”
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