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De La Salle pupils in tribute to Brother Alban
HUNDREDS of pupils lined the streets in tribute to a school’s chair of governors who was said to “encapsulate the spirit of Lasallian education”.
Brother Alban McCourt died last month at the age of 87 after devoting nearly 20 years of support and leadership to De La Salle secondary school in Eccleston.
On the last day of the winter term, the entire school community gathered on the streets of Eccleston, in a moment of silent respect, as his funeral cortege went by.
He had taken up the position of governor in retirement but had gone on to win respect for his unswerving dedication to the school.
The school say it is “a testament to his lasting influence” that almost every member of the 140-strong staff was appointed by Brother Alban.
Will Daunt, the Catholic secondary school’s headteacher, told this week how Brother Alban could be seen in around the building almost every day.
Sometimes he wore the habit but on other occasions he sported his tracksuit, for what Mr Daunt described as the brother’s “legendary trampolining lessons”.
He was said to still be teaching in the sports hall days before he passed away. Mr Daunt added: “In his work in our school, Brother Alban encapsulated the spirit of Lasallian education – he was supportive, wise and extremely generous with his time.
“But of course he was so much more than that: his very presence in the school underlined its Lasallian purpose.
“As a governor, he led the school through most of its existence, and was closely involved in the planning and delivery of the major building programme, which will be completed in 2013. In 2006, the school honoured his outstanding contributions to its work by naming the new Performing Arts Centre after Brother Alban.”
In all, Brother Alban was associated with De La Salle schools for nearly 65 years.
He was a headteacher in London, before taking the helm at De La Salle Liverpool, in 1969, a post he held for more than 20 years.
Described as a leader of great distinction, he was widely known across Catholic education.
Prayers were being said for him beyond St Helens, added Mr Daunt: “By an extraordinary coincidence, a group of staff were in Rheims, home of St John Baptist De La Salle, when Brother Alban passed away, and were able to say prayers for him at Sunday morning Mass in that spiritual home of Lasallian schools.”