Obituary - David Mack
PUBLISHED: 11:16 06 October 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010
ELY Community College s community education manager David Mack died at Addenbrooke s Hospital on Sunday, September 24 after a short illness. He was aged 61. Mr Mack had a self-confessed passion for, and belief in, community education, in which he first be
ELY Community College's community education manager David Mack died at Addenbrooke's Hospital on Sunday, September 24 after a short illness. He was aged 61.
Mr Mack had a self-confessed passion for, and belief in, community education, in which he first became involved in 1974 as adult education tutor at the Mandeville Centre at Mandeville County Secondary School in Aylesbury, Bucks, where he was also head of the French department.
He had been appointed to the post in 1966 after moving from his native Morpeth in Northumberland, via Leicester, where he did his teacher training. At Mandeville he also became a head of year and teacher in charge of careers education.
Mr Mack moved to the Fens and Ely in 1986 as senior community education tutor at the time that City of Ely Community College was formed, and his burning commitment to life-long learning ensured for the next 17 years that the community aspect of the college was at the forefront of its activities.
In 1989, he became community patch co-ordinator for the area, and Key Stage 4 pastoral tutor at the college in 2000.
Throughout his 17 years at the college he was also a member of the senior management team.
Mr Mack was responsible for creating a vast number of links with groups serving young people, the elderly, students and adults with learning difficulties, and countless adult education classes and clubs. David's activities operated both at the college and through Outreach in local villages. He was tireless, working both co-operatively and collaboratively in realising his vision for the community aspect of the college that he identified in 1986.
He was also instrumental in integrating students from Highfield School into classes alongside students at the community college, initially in drama, but extending to many other departments. After retirement in 2003, he continued to involve himself in community education and spent much time helping with teaching at Highfield School, where his contribution was greatly welcomed by staff and students alike.
College Principal, Ian Gartshore said of him: "Dave was a towering figure in community education. His passion for and love of community education were inspirational to many. He had been so looking forward to retirement and had many plans and projects for the years ahead. The service of thanksgiving was an inspirational celebration of a life devoted to serving others."
He had a great love for France, where he had bought a property following his retirement in 2003, and was a lifelong and loyal supporter of Sunderland Football Club, with all its ups and downs.
David leaves a widow, Val, and will be greatly missed by a wide section of the community which he served so well for so many years. His funeral took place on Friday, September 29, and a thanksgiving service for his life was held afterwards at Ely Methodist Church. It was led by close friend and former colleague, Paul Cobley, and addressed by him and other friends, former colleagues and students, Becky Brown (nee Lawrence), Adam Peacock, Roger Daw, Jenny Moran, Fred Peeling, and Jan Cobley. Donations in David's memory were collected for Highfield School.