School's Cook Retires After 35 Years Of Service

School's Cook Retires After 35 Years Of Service

Wednesday 21st Aug 2019

This week, Gabalfa Primary Schools' Cook in Charge, Mrs Pauline Henricksen retires after 35 years of service.

Pauline began her time at Gabalfa Primary School in 1956, as a pupil at Gabalfa Infants School and continued her schooling there, before moving onto Glantaf Secondary School. 


In 1984, with her children now in school, Pauline started working as a dinner lady at the school, making her one of the longest serving members of staff. Over the next 25 years, Pauline had several roles in the kitchen and has been the school's cook now for the best part of ten years.


Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Councillor Sarah Merry said: "Pauline has been an integral part of Gabalfa Primary School and the wider Gabalfa community, adapting over the years as the school has seen changes to heads, staff and last year, the construction of the new school building.


"She has taken these changes in her stride, always managing to provide hot meals for the hundreds of children in her care. Cardiff Council is grateful for her hard work over the years and we wish her a very happy and restful retirement."


Head teacher, Mrs Carrie Jenkins said: "The school has been an important part of Pauline's family life as she met her husband here and went on to have six children, all of whom attended Gabalfa Primary School along with Pauline's nieces and nephews.

"Her endless enthusiasm and commitment to the children of the school is clear when you meet her and watch her interact with the children she feeds, not only providing food for Gabalfa Primary School but also for Ysgol Glan Ceubal and Meadowbank School. Pauline will be greatly missed by the children, the staff, and parents, many of whom will likely remember her from their own time at the school."

Pauline said: "I've seen some changes over the years but this is a lovely school and we've had some lovely head teachers. There has been some changes with food too, healthier, lower sugar, lower salt - school meals have definitely improved and got better since I started the job, it's what the kids want - they love broccoli and sweetcorn and they all love peas!

"I've seen so many children go through the school and then they have their own children who also attend. I'm really going to miss the kids the most but I'll still be doing plenty of cooking for the grandchildren, and the whole family come to me every Sunday for a roast dinner."

A special school assembly will take place today with each class presenting Pauline with handmade personalised cards and gifts. Pupils also performed a special rendition of Pauline's favourite song, Never Forget by Take That.

What will Pauline be doing now as she begins her retirement? Those who know her will not be surprised to hear she is planning on remaining busy, spending time with her children, eleven grandchildren and her two great-grandchildren, with another one on the way. All whilst keeping up with her beloved Liverpool Football Club!