A dedicated nursery nurse and two much-loved lollipop men — with 47 years of caring for youngsters between them — bowed out of service on Friday.
Moira Ross, of Dumbarton, worked her final day at St Peter’s Nursery, Tony George put in his last shift at St Peter’s Primary and Jackie McGunnigle helped youngsters safely across the road for the final time at Bonhill Primary last week.
Caring Moira has worked at the Howatshaws Road nursery for 21 years and was sent off in style by teachers, pupils and parents, who showered her with gifts before she enjoyed a meal with staff.
Speaking on her last day, Moira said: “It’s been lovely and I will miss all the children, parents and staff but I’m also looking forward to a new chapter. It’s been a total pleasure working here.
“I’ve got five grandchildren under six who I’ll have more time with and I’m going to Las Vegas with my husband Arthur in March as a wee present to myself — outside the school holiday dates for a change!”
Fiona Ferguson, head of the nursery, said it will not be the same without the teacher. She said: “We want to wish her a very happy retirement. On a personal basis, I will miss her very much as she has kept me right and it’s been great having somebody like Moira to talk to.
“The children just love her, she has a lovely manner with them.”
Tributes were also paid to hard working Tony George, who hung up his lollipop stick at the Bellsmyre primary school for the last time. Tony, who is in his 80s, has helped youngsters cross the road for 14 years and knows the name of every child.
Ray Brodie, clerical assistant at St Peter’s Primary, said: “He is kind, gentle, caring, always looking after the children, and if he was ever worried about any of the children he would come and speak to us. He is very considerate and has been a privilege to work with. A lot of the pupils will be very upset he is leaving.”
Over in Bonhill, Jackie McGunnigle said he has mixed feelings about leaving his lollipop duties behind, a job he held for 12 years. He said: “I will miss the children and all the staff very much.”
Headteacher Maria Seery said Jackie has been a fantastic asset to the children, by not only helping them cross the road but teaching them about road safety.
She said: “He has worked very, very hard over the years and he will be missed very much. He has a great character and has provided brilliant support to the children.”
Jackie was presented with lovely gifts from the parents, including a cake baked by one of the mums, as well as gifts from staff and a quaich from the council.