Tributes to man who ‘was part of the fabric’ of Ballyclare High School

Tributes have been paid to well-known local man George Neale Dodds, who was former chief caretaker at Ballyclare High School.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:25 pm
George Dodds.

Mr Dodds started work in the school as a groundsman and then became a member of the caretaking staff.

In a tribute on the school website, he was described as “a faithful and dedicated member of staff for 32 years” and a true gentleman who loved being part of the school community.

The school said that Mr Dodds had been “invested in the success of our pupils and staff, with his advice often listened to more intently because it came from him.”

Mr Dodds, who passed away peacefully at Victoria Court Nursing Home, had previously lived at Grange Valley, and was a familiar figure in the local Methodist Church and the Friendship Circle of the congregation.

He was a founder member of the bowling club attached to the church, and also a founder member of Ballyclare Methodist Table Tennis Club and honorary chairperson of the club.

Even after health problems meant he could no longer play, he continued to attend matches and show his support, and a tribute from the club described him as “hugely respected as a player and a true gentleman in our club”

Online tributes included several which described him as a true gentleman, and one referred to how welcoming he was on a Sunday morning at Ballyclare Methodist, while others who remembered him from their teaching days at Ballyclare High described him as “part of the fabric of the school” and another said he was “such a kind man – a legend in the history of this wonderful school”.

Mr Dodds was predeceased by his wife Winnie and son Neale. He is survived by his son Billy, daughter-in-law Linda and granddaughters Kerry and Emma and their families.

Due to current restrictions, the funeral was private with donations in lieu of flowers encouraged to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, care of Fleming and Cuthbert Funeral Directors, Ballyclare.

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