Inspired pupils visit Palmer Catholic Academy founder’s refurbished grave
PUBLISHED: 11:22 26 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:48 26 October 2015
Pupils striving to carry on the legacy of the priest that founded their academy visited his newly restored grave last week.
Youngsters from The Palmer Catholic Academy, Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, left flowers and paid their respects to Canon Patrick Palmer, who bought the land for the academy’s original site in Cameron Road.
“It was very good, it was lovely,” said learning mentor Maggie Millbery, who accompanied them.
“We wanted to show our respects because we wouldn’t have our academy without him. It’s because of him we’re there if it wasn’t for him the school wouldn’t exist.”
Canon Palmer bought the land for the school’s site in 1940 for £11,000, but was unable to see it open 13 years later in 1961 following his death in 1948.
He became a key figure in Redbridge’s Catholic community after building churches, schools and buildings in the area, including SS Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in High Road, Ilford, in 1899, and the Guildhall Catholic Club, also in High Road, in 1925.
Headteacher Allison Moise-Dixon decided something was to be done about Canon Palmer’s tired grave, more than 65 years after his death.
“It’s been completely refurbished,” said Ms Millbery. “We had all the lettering all redone.
“He wanted the kids to have an education and it’s out of respect for him that we just thought it would be nice to have it restored and it’s something that we as a community can visit.”
Head boys and head girls from each year group visited the grave and were “very respectful”.
Ms Millbery said: “I think it brings the school and the man closer together.
“It’s about the kids adding to that legacy and it’s something that they’ll continue to do.
“They’ll keep the grave looking nice and clean and on his anniversary and as an academy we’ll visit and keep it like it should be.”
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