Founder of St Albans Catholic school retires aged 91
PUBLISHED: 13:28 24 September 2020
The surviving founder of a St Albans Catholic college is retiring at the age of 91.
Brother Clement Pelletier St Columba’s College in St Albans is stepping down after serving the school and local community for over 65 years. He also assisted St Albans Abbey for 26 years as a tour guide and canon.
He arrived in the UK on the Queen Mary from America in 1955 along with three fellow founders: Brother Victor, Brother Eugene and Brother Peter. Over his 65-year journey with St Columba’s, Brother Clement has held the roles of teacher, deputy headmaster, headmaster and most recently, college archivist.
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Last year, he celebrated his 90th birthday with several events hosted by the school to mark this incredible milestone.
Due to health reasons, Brother Clement has returned to the United States to enter retirement in the care of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The school honoured their founder’s departure with an outdoor socially distanced mass as well as a guard of honour.
Headmaster David Buxton said: “It is testimony to the work of Brother Clement that the school has grown to the scale that it has with its fine reputation for academic excellence and pastoral care. We thank you for the blessing you have been to this school community, and for the role model that you have been to us.”
He added that Brother Clement instilled the Columban values of courage, courtesy and compassion and the school continues to make a huge impact on its pupils and endeavours to serve the local community. This was continued during lockdown, when St Columba’s College donated PPE to the NHS and delivered a successful remote learning programme with strong pastoral support for pupils.
Brother Clement has witnessed many developments over the school’s history, including the most recent move to co-education where St Columba’s will be welcoming girls into the Lower Prep - Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 - and Sixth Form from September 2021. Brother Clement said he is most looking forward to hearing about the success of this exciting development.
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