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Pupils’ farewell to headteacher
SCHOOLCHILDREN lined the streets to say farewell to headteacher Terry Parkinson.
FOND MEMORIES: Mourners applaud as the funeral cortege of Terry Parkinson passes outside St Ethelbert's Church, Deane
Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of the St Ethelbert's Primary School headteacher who died aged 42 on October 17 after losing his two-year battle with cancer.
Friends, family and colleagues were asked to wear bright colours to remember the popular teacher and father-of-three, who had asked that his funeral be a "celebration of the life I loved".
His children, Noah, aged six, India, aged four, and Mia, aged two, were dressed in pink and carried balloons on which they had written their father's pet-names for them - Best Mate, Princess and Angel.
Attached to a floral tribute, spelling the word Daddy, was a card which said: "To Daddy, we will always love you, from Noah - your best mate - India and Mia."
TOUCHING: A card from Mr Parkinson's daughter, Mia
Tributes were also left by staff at the school, and pupils, who wrote: "To Mr Parkinson, the best ever teacher. Goodnight and God bless."
The school, where Mr Parkinson taught for 15 years, was closed as a mark of respect, allowing dozens of pupils to attend the morning service at St Ethelbert's church, in Hawthorne Street, Deane.
The school choir led hymns including Sing a Song of Peace and a family friend sang On Eagles' Wings.
Readings were given by family members, including Mr Parkinson's sister, Joanne.
Tearful pupils and parents then lined up outside the church and applauded as the funeral cortege passed by on its way to a private burial. The dedicated headteacher and keen tennis player was married to Catherine, a deputy headteacher at Sacred Heart primary school, Westhoughton, for 12 years. They lived in Hunger Hill, Bolton.
He was forced to take sick leave when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September, 2004, shortly before the birth of his youngest daughter, Mia.
Father Allan Swift, priest at St Ethelbert's church, said: "I would like to record the parish's gratitude for Terry's enormous contribution to Catholic education here at St Ethelbert's, for maintaining a strong Catholic ethos in the school and for being a positive role model as a husband, father and family man in the parish.
"Let us pray for him and his wife, Catherine, and family."