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Crowning glory
Thursday 2nd January 2014 @ 14:43 by Nigel Skinner


A five shilling (25p) gift has proved to be a
gesture beyond value for the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Joe Kitchen.

The money, in the shape of two old half-crowns, was given to the Mayor and his brother Michael by headmaster Hugo Brennan when they left St Peter and Paul Catholic Secondary Modern School, Birch Lane, Dukinfield, in 1969.

Mr Brennan gave each brother a coin with his best wishes for the future.

His kindness has stayed with the Mayor ever since, and at the annual speech night of what is now All Saints Catholic College he presented two half-crowns, mounted in a case, as a memento to mark the school’s golden jubilee.

The Mayor said: “After all these years I’m still touched by what Mr Brennan did for my brother and myself.

“Five shillings, or 25p in decimal money, wouldn’t buy you much today but that gesture was priceless as far as I’m concerned. The headmaster was a very caring man.”

Even though Britain did not change its
currency until 1971, half-crowns were no longer being minted in 1969. So instead, the Mayor has sourced two coins from 1963, the year the school opened to replace the old St Mary’s School on Zetland Street.

The inscription on the case reads: “Presented to All Saints Catholic College in 2013, its golden jubilee year, by the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Joe Kitchen, a former pupil, as a thank-you for the half-crown coins given to him and his brother on leaving the school in 1969 by former headmaster Hugo Brennan.”