New learning experience

Retirement will be a new learning experience for two of the district’s former teachers.

Anne and Geoff Dernee have been contributing to our community for almost forty years, so their relocation to Thirroul in the near future will leave major gaps in the Cowra and Canowindra communities.

Anne is a much-respected English teacher at Cowra High School.

Geoff, a mathematics teacher at Canowindra High school, was a highly valued staff member, whose diligence and caring made him loved and respected by all.

Friends, colleagues and family members held a special dinner for Anne and Geoff at Cowra’s Japanese Garden last week.

Thirty years ago, Geoff’s patience in educating the more mature staff about the wonders of computer technology was outstanding. 

His extra contributions to school sport were much appreciated and his support, as a Year Adviser, was essential for the implementation of the Peer Support Program.

One of his former students, Trish Chase (Henderson) who is now a teacher, actually applied for special leave, so that she could travel from Parkes to join in paying public tribute to Geoff. 

She was joined by locally based former student Louise Pengilly (Dale).

“Geoff had an extensive knowledge of mathematics and was very skilled in being able to convey this knowledge to his students, with endless patience,” they said.

We would like to sincerely thank Geoff for his commitment.

Trish Henderson and Louise Dale

“He was always a kind and caring teacher who appeared to have an appreciation of the importance of positive relationships in teaching long before the current research determined the correlation.

“We would like to sincerely thank Geoff for his commitment to the students of Canowindra High School during our time as students there,” they said.

The large attendance (especially at such short notice) was indicative of the regard and affection for Anne and Geoff, from former colleagues and students.

Friends came from Mudgee, Forbes, Canberra and Orange to celebrate the occasion with Geoff and Anne.

Good wishes were sent from locations such as New Picton (Michelle Wright) and Brisbane (Kearyn Ferguson).

There were apologies and good wishes from Paul Williams, Alison Biddulph, Deirdre Kiely and Mim Loomes.

The wider community will miss Anne and Geoff greatly too.

Hopefully, others may try to carry on their work. They will be remembered with great affection. Neither weekend soccer nor Wednesday Scripture may ever be the same.

We wish the Dernees a smooth transition from Cowra to their new life in Thirroul and much happiness for many years in well-deserved ‘retirement’.