Farewell to a dinner lady with a difference

Elizabeth pictured with St Catherine’s canteen staff, Gail Doherty, Sharon McLaughlin, Camilla McCrossan, Helen Boyle, Eileen Kelly, Anne Walters, Bridget Mullen, Sheila McBrearty and Geraldine Millar. KMG26

IF you went to primary school in Strabane sometime in the last 20 years chances are you had you dinner served to you by Elizabeth Hill.

The popular dinner lady dished up her last meal to pupils in St Catherine’s recently. However in the last 21 years that she has been cooking for local children Elizabeth says she has worked in nearly all the schools in the town.

Now keen to take off her oven gloves and hang up her apron Elizabeth says the time is right to retire.


“Over the years, at some stage, I worked as a dinner lady in all of the schools in Strabane,” she explains.

“For the past two decades I have worked at St Catherine’s. I always loved my job and I have so many lovely memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I cannot thank the wonderful team of girls that worked with me over the years, they became more than work colleagues but rather great friends,” continued Elizabeth. “Helen Boyle, another dinner lady and, myself have worked alongside each other for 21 years and everything I did, we both did.

“Also to all the children I have served over the years, they really made each day more enjoyable and they will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Sailing easily into retirement Elizabeth added “I have no major plans for the future at the moment, but I intend to continue as I have before and that is to take each day as it comes.”

Paying tribute to the dinner lady extraordinaire St Catherine’s principal Bridget Wilders said the entire school will miss Elizabeth.

“I started working with Elizabeth in 2010 when I became principal of St Catherine’s” Mrs Wilders explained.

“She worked here as a dinner lady when it was Barrack Street Boys’ Primary School and continued on in her role when the two schools amalgamated.

“My experience of Elizabeth is someone who was extremely proactive in her job to which she gave 100 per-cent. She always wanted the best for the pupils and the school and that good nature and kind-heartedness made her everyone’s favourite dinner lady.

“She was always so amenable with the pupils and approached her job with the utmost flexibility and dedication.”

Wishing Elizabeth all the best in her retirement Mrs Wilders added “I know that both myself and the wider school family will miss her terribly.”