Albion Park Public School will hold a remembrance service on Monday for popular former deputy principal Michael Clancy and wife Carol, who were aboard downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The couple, who had spent three weeks in Europe celebrating Mr Clancy’s retirement, have been sorely grieved yet fondly remembered by former colleagues and students.
Glenn Daniels, principal at Albion Park Public, said the school had been rocked by the news. Mr Daniels sent a note home with students on Friday informing them recently retired Mr Clancy, who had worked more than 20years at the school, was thought to be on board MH17.
“The school received word they were on the passenger list at lunchtime on Friday, when a member of the family rang the school to say they were on the flight,” Mr Daniels said.
“The staff had a meeting so news could be imparted to them and to write the letter to send home to the parents, knowing that news would likely break over the weekend. We wanted the community aware, so they could tell their own children first.”
Mr Daniels said the school would open as normal on Monday but would hold a special assembly to commemorate Mr and Mrs Clancy. The school would also have counsellors on site for students and staff, with an area in front of the school for the community to lay flowers and pay tribute to the couple.
“This is a time for reflection, an opportunity for students and staff to speak openly about the positive things about Mr Clancy,” Mr Daniels said.
“School will be open, and teachers and staff are on board. We have things set up if students are upset but we want students at school as much as possible.”
Mr Daniels said Monday’s service was aimed at the school community but discussions were being had about a public service.