In this world driven by the search for celebrity, fame and money sometimes we overlook people who have had a huge impact on the lives of other people, because they quietly get on being brilliant at what they do without any fanfare or big gesture!
I have been fortunate to work with one such individual on and off for about twenty years and this week I have learned of his retirement. Without doubt he is a person who will be missed, not only by his colleagues but more importantly by the young people who he has taught over the years.
In a town like Oldham news travels very fast, we have a grapevine that is very impressive and this news traveled faster than most.
Now I have not named this individual because he would be mortified by the fact that in his eyes I had actually wasted valuable time writing this but more importantly he probably doesn’t think that his retirement doesn’t warrant any attention because its no big deal. To everyone who has worked or been taught by this person it is!
Normally it is not in most young peoples makeup to have a genuine affection for Lecturers however I have been bombarded by phone calls, Facebook messages and all the other manner of social networking paraphernalia asking me if i was true and what are we going to celebrate the end of an era (their words not mine).
It is obvious to anyone who has worked with him he has rare qualities that make him special. He is virtually unflappable and in all the time I have known him he has never had a bad word to say about anyone. His greatest quality is that he has the ability to see the best in people and make them feel like someone actually cares about what they achieve.
By my calculations (and I am not very good mathematically, other than invoicing and filling in expenses forms) In the time I have known him he has personally been responsible for the pastoral and educational needs of over 150 students a year, for the past twenty years.
By my reckoning that’s about 3000 individuals who have directly benefited from this mans experience and most of these individuals have gone on to become very successful in their chosen careers.
No matter were you travel to work in this country, when you tell them were you are from, nine times out of ten this mans name will crop up in the conversation, followed by the phrase “a great bloke”
So I hope we can pin him down and give him the send off he deserves and give some of the people he has helped over the years a chance to say thank you.