Thursday, 7 April 2011

Harry Dack

Harry Dack was not yet in his teens when he first 'went down the pit' as a boy worker in the hey-day of the Cleveland ironstone mines towards the end of the nineteenth century. By the age of twenty, he was an active figure in the union movement, became a checkweighman just five years later and went on to become miners' agent for 21 years before embarking on a distinguished career in public service which saw him rise to be vice-chairman of the North Riding of Yorkshire County Council and chairman of the council's education committee. In 1934, he was made an officer of the order of the British Empire and received his O.B.E medal at the hands of the King himself at Buckingham Palace; and in 1954, was further honoured when the Loftus Junior School was named after him.

The medal, along with its accompanying citation signed by the King, was handed for safekeeping to one of his daughter's children who was christened Harry, after his famous grandfather. He in turn, travelled around the world with his precious charge during a career which took him thought North and South America, Asia and finally to retirement in France where he has almost reached the age when his Grandfather died.

At 75 he has contacted his fellow cousins to meet at the school named after their grandfather so they can collectively present the much-travelled medal to the head teacher for permanent safe keeping in a custom-built glass case and allow the children to know more about the history of the school. the presentation ceremony is set to take place at the Loftus Junior School on Tuesday April 5 at 1:30 p.m. In the presence of the pupils, staff, and an impressive group of dignitaries including the Mayor and Mayoress of the Redcar and Cleveland Council along with seven of the eight grandchildren who hope to attend. The pupils have prepared a special day of celebration and exhibits to mark the event. they intend to make it a fun occasion! Harry Atterton

Each class at the school put on a display - Harry Atterton and his cousins hand over Harry Dack’s medal - The guests look around the school - Harry and his wife Jacqueline take a well deserved break.

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