Irrawang high this week farewelled one of their long-serving members of staff.
Mr Peter Slade, a much-loved and familiar face in the Irrawang school fabric, announced his retirement earlier this year, to coincide with the final week of school for 2016.
Irrawang High School representative Ms Luella Fagan told News Of The Area, “It is with selfish sadness that we bid farewell and wish a happy retirement to Mr Peter Slade, our much loved Farm Assistant (aka CEO and Managing Director) who has spent the last 31 years working on our school farm, as well as managing his own 100 acre farm at Eagleton.”
From a single shed containing all the farm equipment and staff room, and land covered in Lantana and blackberry bushes, Mr Slade has been a driving force in the expansion of the Irrawang High School farm into a 2 hectare state-of-the art $1.8 million Trade Training Centre, with the most modern equipment and facilities.
“The standout highlight of my time at our school has been the sheer delight and joy of the students with special needs who have spent time on the farm – either tending their own vegetable patch, watering the plants, driving the tractor, spending time with all the animals or collecting the eggs, vegetables and fruit to sell to the staff,” Mr Slade said.
He is known for his patience, his wicked sense of humour, cheeky smile and sensitivity to all students.
Many teachers have worked with Mr Slade over the years, however he and Ms Henry, the current Primary Industries teacher, have formed a special working relationship and have lots of fun at the same time.
His absence around the school will be surely felt, but staff and students alike wish him a long, healthy and happy retirement.
By Rachael VAUGHAN