Fitting memorial for gentleman, scholar and lollipop man Dr Bruce Berry

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A school has opened a memorial garden to honour its highly-educated lollipop man.

Crofton Infant School held a memorial service last Thursday for hugely popular Dr Bruce Berry who died in February aged 73.

The multilingual lollipop man, who held 11 university degrees, was a familiar sight for years on the High Street where he ushered children across the road. Children on the school council decided to remember the retired postal worker by having a memorial garden built for him, which was funded by donations from parents.

About 250 people, including pupils, staff and relatives, attended a memorial service before the garden was opened last week.

The display includes his lollipop stick and the bike he used to cycle to school on from his home in Sharlston.

Acting headteacher Jen Stefaniuk said: “We asked the school crossing patrol if we could keep his lollipop stick.”

They are also going to mount a plaque listing his educational achievements. Dr Berry, who could speak five languages frequently, gained degrees from universities in France and Germany.

Mrs Stefaniuk said: “We invited the family to attend and they gave us a plaque which was on Dr Berry’s house. It says his name and all his qualifications – it’s a big plaque.”

The acting head said her abiding memory of Dr Berry was his morning greeting.

She added: “Every morning as you walked across the playground he greeted you with a ‘hello madam’. He used to greet every member of staff when we came into school, asked how we were and greeted the children as well.”

Children sang as the memorial service last Thursday and chose the songs.

Mrs Stefaniuk said: “Dr Berry used to love our children’s singing. He would always come in when it was carols at Christmas and comment on the children’s singing. He would always say ‘how lovely the children sang’.”

The event was attended by his cousin Lesley Berry and his aunt Lucy Berry who said it was a lovely and fitting memorial.