I have written and rewritten this post so many times trying to put my thoughts down properly. It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I write about two special people whom I had the pleasure of knowing. Michael and Carol Clancy, were my friends and colleagues their lives were sadly taken in the Malaysian plane tragedy last week.
I also had the privilege of working with both of these lovely people at Albion Park Public School. Although I didn’t have as much special time with Carol as I did Michael, the times I did spend with her certainly did not lack conversation and laughter. She was a loving, caring and friendly person who always had a smile on her face and put a smile on mine.
I have known Michael since Andrew first walked through the gates of the school sixteen years ago and it was then that this man became our friend. He was welcoming and friendly and often reminded me of my own father, therefore, I found him easy to approach and talk to whether there was a problem or just for a friendly chat. As a member of staff I spent time in the classroom with him and found that the children in his classes had a very strong bond with him. He had a wonderful rapport with the students and they had a wealth of respect for him. Patience was his vurtue, he had so much time for any child who had contact with him.
As a member of the selection panel I spent time with Michael making the decision on the right person for positions advertised within our school. I was on the panel when Michael applied for the position of Deputy Principal at our school. Even though he had been acting in this position for some time, and had done a great job, he was still the most nervous I had ever seen him at the interview. Michael was not a tall person, I remember him walking into the room with his new suit on, looking terrified, and I had to have a little chuckle to myself as the sleeves on the jacket were too long for him. I thought if it had been me he would have given me a hard time about my height, or lack thereof, as he so often did. This came from a man whom I could look in the eye.
It was never an effort for Michael to show he cared. When I lost my father he couldn’t do enough for me to make sure I got through it all okay, when I had tough decisions to make about my mum he offered advice and when I had my own health issues he made sure I looked after myself. He saw potential in our sons and talked to us about it to make sure we covered every avenue. Even when he was in his own pain he thought of others.
I am saddened to think that these two wonderful friends have had their lives cut short in their first year of retirement and on a holiday that meant so much to them. It is also hard for me to not be with my fellow colleagues in this their time of need and mine. These people are my family and I wish I was with them all. I feel for the children whose lives Michael has touched and have also been upset by this.
Murray and I, Andrew and Simon send our love and sympathy to Michael and Carol’s children who have not lost one but both of their loving parents at once. We send our thoughts and love to our extended family at Albion Park Public School. Sadly Murray and I will miss the memorial service being held on Friday as we are away but we will be there in spirit and you will all be in our thoughts.
Michael, you left me with lovely memories, you made me laugh and now you’ve made me cry. Farewell Michael and Carol, you will be missed but never forgotten.