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First Minister visits Kitchener Primary School for special retirement celebrations

Kitchener Primary School received a special visit from The First Minister of Wales, The Rt. Hon Mark Drakeford last week, to mark the retirement of 80 year-old Mid-Day Supervisor, Mrs Dianne Allsopp.

A special assembly was held to celebrate Mrs Allsopps 40 years working at the school but also highlighted that she herself attended Kitchener Primary as a pupil from 1938.

Mrs Allsopp said: "When I started the school, communities of Canton and Riverside were close knit - everyone knew everyone else. Friendships were made in the infants that lasted through and beyond the school years.

"I remember the school had a lovely rocking horse - it cost a penny for a ride and the classrooms were lovely and warm - coal fires in each one. Fridays were always a good day as you were allowed to bring skipping ropes and balls in from home."

Head teacher of Kitchener Primary School, Mrs Ruth Jackson said: "During her school days, Mrs Allsopp was Head girl - a huge achievement and her qualities as a leader have shone through ever since when she returned to the school in 1978 as a Mid-day Supervisor.

"In 40 years of service to the school, Mrs Allsopp has been a very kind, cheerful and dedicated member of staff. She has helped over 10,000 children to have a happy lunch time.

"On behalf of everyone at the school past and present, I would like to thanks Mrs Allsopp for all her dedication, help support and most of all her cheery nature. We will miss her lovely smile."

"Kitchener has been a big part of Mrs Allsopp's life and we are immensely thankful for her kindness and commitment to the children."

The celebrations also marked the retirements of two of the schools governor's, Mr Khalid Abdo and Mr Jaswant Singh, who between them have served the school for over 50 years.

Mr Alan Evans, Chair of Governors described how Mr Singh and Mr Abdo had supported and at times challenged the school to be the very best that it could be. Mr Singh came to Wales from Lahore, India and Mr Abdo came from Aden. Both gentlemen settled in the Riverside community and had links with the school through their own families that remain to this day.