Posted: Sat 22nd Jun 2024

Golden retirement gift for army veteran after 37 Years with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A lecturer and army veteran who committed 37 years to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award received a golden retirement present.

Alan Lowry – who leaves his role as Sports and Public Services Lecturer and DofE Coordinator at Coleg Cambria this summer, after over a quarter of a century with the institution – was invited to a special celebration at Buckingham Palace.

He joined Gold award winners from the college, and across the country, for a festival-themed event chaired by HRH Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Having served all over the world with the Royal Welch Fusiliers – including Germany, Bosnia, Canada, and Kenya – rising to the rank of Warrant Officer, Alan switched to education in 1999.

He was “proud and delighted” to attend, along with wife Rebeccah, but insists he will miss the learners and staff at Coleg Cambria, which has sites in Wrexham, Deeside, Northop and Llysfasi.

“Having been involved with the DofE for 37 years it was a huge honour to be at this celebration,” said Alan.

“I’ve had the privilege of being invited on two previous occasions to witness the presentation of Awards at the Palace, and once again it was a wonderful day with hundreds of participants from all over the country being acknowledged for their hard work and dedication.

“HRH The Duke of Edinburgh addressed those attending and then met and talked to some of the recipients, which was fantastic.”

He added: “It has been a privilege and honour to have been involved with the Awards, and to see how it has allowed young people to experience things they may not have if they had not been involved.

“It has been a great opportunity for learners across all sites to try new things and get involved with the wider local communities, and in the process raise a lot of money for their chosen charities.

“I will greatly miss it, and the college, but take great pride from all we have achieved together over the years.”

The three Cambria representatives to achieve Gold were former Northop student Joe Smallwood, and ex-Yale learners Hannah Skirton and Rafael Jeremy.

Cambria is the number one FE institution in Wales for the DofE and has seen almost 300 young people achieve the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award in the last 18 months.

One of the college’s former students is Rebecca Kennelly, who was previously DofE UK Executive Director.

Cambria’s Learner and Enterprise Manager Rona Griffiths praised Alan for helping to change the lives of learners since the turn of the century.

She added: “Thank you Alan for all your leadership, support and commitment to colleagues and students alike – across all the sites.

“You will be greatly missed by us all.”

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