Ulidia principal pays tribute to Carrick school’s founding governor

George Leslie.
George Leslie.

Carrick’s Ulidia Integrated College will close tomorrow Tuesday November 20, from 12 noon, as a mark of respect following the death of founding governor George Leslie.

Mr. Leslie died in hospital on Thursday after a short illness.

He had been a member of the school’s board of governors for more 20 years.

Ulidia’s principal Michael Houston said: “Quite simply, Ulidia would not exist as it is today without his influence, friendship and tireless dedication.

“George’s heart for integrated education was front and centre in every conversation he had about Ulidia, and he supported all of the work of the college by giving his time and energy without reserve.

“He was certainly one of the most vocal supporters for an integrated college in Carrickfergus in times when the community and education authority said there was no way an integrated post-primary could work in Carrickfergus.”

The school opened originally in temporary accommodation, in Whitehead.

The principal added: “George and the other founding governors proved them wrong. Today Ulidia is the most oversubscribed school in the area, and continues to grow and develop.

“On behalf of the governors, staff and pupils, we wish to express our deeply felt gratitude for everything he has done for us, and we wish to extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family who are still very much connected to the college.”

Mr. Leslie’s funeral will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at Mulholland’s Funeral Home, in Carrick, at noon, followed by committal at Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast.

He is survived by his wife Brenda, son Gary and daughters Andrea and Gemma.