Farewell, Alan Henry

From the Principal

As we close Term 1 with gratitude for the rich teaching and learning that has taken place in every classroom, throughout our campus, at assemblies and during excursions, camps, debating, mock trial and on the sporting fields, I share the news with you that our much-loved cleaning services provider Alan Henry is retiring.

Always friendly, efficient, calm and good-humoured, Alan is a true gentleman who has always gone above and beyond. In this, he truly exemplifies our School’s enduring commitment to excellence in all that we do at IGS which was first expressed as a passionate call to action by founding Principal Professor Reg St Leon in 1984. Alan has been with IGS for an extraordinary 32 years, initially at Surry Hills and the School’s Balmain campus, and then as he worked in the two storeys of the School’s first Mountain Street High School Campus. His late twin brother Tommy also worked for IGS and was a much loved member of our community.

Alan has seen thousands of our students grow from infants to confident young adults, just as he has witnessed the growth of our School, the new and updated campuses and a changing international guard of teachers.

We are grateful that Alan’s wife Emy, who joined Alan at IGS in their business 28 years ago, will continue to clean parts of our campus and we hope Alan will return to us as a security guard from time to time.

Relatively young, we are fortunate that the earliest years of our School remain vivid in the living memories of current and former staff from all over the world.

It is this network of individuals and their diverse contributions which makes us such a connected and special community.

We honoured Alan at special morning teas this morning, recognising his outstanding service to our School. Even during these past two years of the pandemic, Alan and Emy have been instrumental in keeping our students and staff safe, wiping down our school desks from 5am every morning.

Often first to arrive and last to leave, Alan is known as a kind of guardian of our School, and we can’t thank him and Emy enough for all they have done for us, usually behind the scenes and without fanfare.

On behalf of generations of IGS students, parents and staff, it was my pleasure to thank him today. Michelle Weir, Jess Price and Anthony Dennehy also paid tribute to all that Alan has given us. 

And now, I hope you and your children can take time over the break to be together and enjoy nature, or plunge into the simple joys of reading a book or three, what ever the weather may bring.

Thank you for all your support over this extraordinary term. 

Take care

Shauna Colnan