Farewell to caretaker after 18 years at Ilkeston school

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Staff and students have said farewell to a ‘legendary’ caretaker who served Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy for 18 years.

A special ‘act of worship’ involving the whole school was dedicated to David Wain, who is retiring to spend more time with his family.

Students, staff, head teacher Joan McCarthy and ex-head teacher Bernard Monaghan all paid tribute to Mr Wain.

Staff also dressed up as caretakers for the day and wore masks with Mr Wain’s face on them.

Mrs McCarthy told students and staff: “We are here to give thanks for someone who has been a tremendous servant to our school community, someone who does good for others and puts others before himself.

“There is one person who embodies the special community at Saint John Houghton and that is David Wain.

“There are no words that will describe how grateful we are and how much he will be missed and for what you have done for this community.”

Mr Monaghan, who retired from his position as head teacher at Saint John Houghton four years ago, spoke about the respect he had for Mr Wain.

He said: “It’s a real privilege to come back. I first met David Wain 16 years ago when I came for a job interview here and I got this very warm welcome from my friend here which is a hallmark to the person that he is.

“His kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity towards others is legendary.

“Staff, students, visitors, governors, bishops, priests, all receive the same welcome.

“His work ethic is second to none, I’ve never known anybody work so hard.

“He’s here first thing in the morning and last thing at night and I’ve never known him to sit down and have a cup of tea.

“David Wain is a gentleman and he is a gentle man and it’s a privilege to call him a friend.

“He will always be part of the Saint John family and I hope he enjoys the next chapter.”

Mr Monaghan also talked about how Mr Wain introduced the harvest festival to Saint John Houghton CVA.

Mr Wain thanked everyone for their tributes.

He said: “I have enjoyed every minute of being here and the send-off you have given me has been amazing. It’s wonderful to be part of this community.”