The lollipop lady: Granny May says farewell

After more than 20 years of coming to Howick Primary before and after school, ‘Granny’ Mary Harmsworth has finally decided to hang up her high-vis jacket for good. At a special segment of the school Prizegiving Ceremony this week, Mary was recognised and appreciated for her amazing tenure of service to the school with a specially made “Lollipop” award, kindly designed and made by Michael at iEngrave in Howick. Local MP, Simeon Brown, also sent a “Parliamentary certificate of Appreciation” to mark the occasion.

Mary’s grandson Simon spoke about how she started helping out when he began school over 22 years ago, by reading books and helping on trips then beginning as the road patrol crossing guardian.

Mary Harmsworth, Granny Mary as she’s fondly referred as, pictured here with Howick Primary School’s road patrol team, is retiring from the patrol duties she has performed for the last 20 years at the school.

Mary helped train the road patrollers each year, working many years with Adele White, (the current Howick Local Board Chairperson) when Adele was the local Police Education specialist.

Mary has asked the principal, Leyette Callister, to ensure that there are parents stepping up to help at the crossing, so this year, two days per week, parents have been manning the crossings. Mary felt road patrol duty distracts teachers from their important classroom work so felt she would rather be at school than causing a teacher to leave their class.

Howick Primary School is forever indebted to Mary for her many years of dedicated service to our community, but approaching the age of 82, she will now have more time to devote to her other interests and to visiting family in the south island whenever she fancies it.