On Friday April 26th we held a very special assembly in our school to honour our longest serving staff member, Michael Cafferkey, who had been our caretaker since 1979. During that time he was highly respected by many pupils, parents, colleagues, Boards of Management etc.
Michael had become affectionately known of late as Super Mario Michael - the quiet hero of our school – someone who gave of himself, often to the detriment of himself for the greater good of others. He was the first to arrive on the scene and the last to depart, cleaned up messes nobody else wanted to see. He often did this in secret avoiding the plaudits of others.
Michael is synonymous with St Angela’s. Our school sparkled and outshone because of him – in the literal and figurative sense. He was always very proud of St Angela’s and his contribution to our school can never be underestimated. Michael always carried his keys, but was regarded by many also as being key to our school.
He was certainly a role model through his work ethic, professionalism, pride, problem solving, integrity, dependability, loyalty, collegiality, responsibility and respect, selfless nature, unassuming attitude and careful attention to detail.
People talk about the influence that teachers have on their students but the positive warm influence which Michael had on others was clearly evident during his final week in school. We listened to great stories from current and former students, colleagues and parents, illustrating the high regard in which Michael was held.
Forty years have passed in the blink of an eye for Michael. It was a fitting tribute that his children, Michael and Máiréad, wanted to be here with him to support him and thank him for all that he has done for them.
The school assembly paid tribute to Michael through song, drama, art and music – the real St Angela’s style. We wish to acknowledge the great work done by the students’ council, ably led by Ms Spelman and Ms Healy. Each class must be credited also for their own songs about Michael and for the beautiful cards they created for him. It really was a truly memorable and uplifting occasion.
Our loss is the Cafferkey family gain. We wish Michael the beginning of a good rest – time to spend with friends and family and to enjoy the card games without having to think about the alarm clock.
As we said on the day – Michael loves card games and as we know nobody can control the cards we are dealt but we can choose how we play them. Michael - you sure play them well.
Buíochas, ádh agus grá mór i gcónaí.