We were saddened to learn of the death of our former Chairman, Mr Tony McCann, on New Year's Eve. Tony was Chairman of the Gateacre Society for 28 years until he retired owing to ill health in February 2009. At his Requiem Mass at St Mary's Catholic Church, Woolton, he was described as a 'larger than life character' with a sense of humour that persisted until the very end. Members of the Society who have attended any of the meetings over which he presided will recognise this description, as do Committee members who were in touch with Tony during his long period of illness.

Tony McCann was also the Headteacher of Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School, Belle Vale, for many years, an active member of his trade union, and an adviser to the Archdiocese of Liverpool on educational matters. As a teacher he was much loved and respected by his pupils, not least Terry Leahy (now Sir Terry, Chief Executive of Tesco plc) who was brought up on the Belle Vale prefab estate. In a Liverpool Echo article in 2003, Sir Terry was quoted as saying: "Tony was perhaps the outstanding example of the many dedicated teachers who ... pointed me in the right direction. Tony had a natural authority and gift for teaching that made it easy to listen ... he made connections to the big wide world beyond the council estate and broadened my horizons".

Our condolences go to Tony's widow Marguerite and to the rest of his family. Donations to the Marie Curie Hospice in Woolton are invited in his memory, and in tribute to the care given to him during his final weeks.

Above: Tony McCann in his teaching days at O.L.A. School, Belle Vale. (A photo from the Belle Vale Prefab Project 2010 Calendar).

Tony McCann, as Chairman of the Gateacre Society, shows the Lord Mayor of Liverpool the newly-refurbished bust of Queen Victoria, 1980. (Reproduced from Gateacre & Belle Vale: in old photographs).

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