Tributes paid to former headmaster of Magherafelt High School

Chief Executive of the NEELB Mr Gordon Topping who performed the official sod cutting to mark the beginning of the new Magherafelt High School 8.5million Building Scheme on Tuesday afternoon of this week. Mr Topping is pictured with Mr Derek Bailie (Magherafelt High School First Principal), Mr Brian McCluskey (Present Principal), Mrs Irvonea Glassey (Chair of Magherafelt High School Board of Governors) and first year pupils Reuben Clements and Victoria Gaston.mm05-358sr Picture: SIMON ROBINSON.
Chief Executive of the NEELB Mr Gordon Topping who performed the official sod cutting to mark the beginning of the new Magherafelt High School 8.5million Building Scheme on Tuesday afternoon of this week. Mr Topping is pictured with Mr Derek Bailie (Magherafelt High School First Principal), Mr Brian McCluskey (Present Principal), Mrs Irvonea Glassey (Chair of Magherafelt High School Board of Governors) and first year pupils Reuben Clements and Victoria Gaston.mm05-358sr Picture: SIMON ROBINSON.
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Tributes have been paid to the first principal of Magherafelt High School who passed away last week.

Derek Bailie MBE took up the leadership role at Magherafelt County Intermediate school in 1956, which was later to become Magherafelt High School.

Mr Bailie retired in 1984, but still remained very much committed to the school he served for almost 30 years, and was pictured at the sod cutting ceremony for the new school building.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Magherafelt High School led the tributes to the former principal.

“He will be well remembered by many past pupils of the school, their families and by many in the Magherafelt and surrounding area,” the statement read.

“All connected with the school would like to extend their sincere condolences to his wife Mrs Florence Bailie at this very sad time.”

Other messages online, showed the affection with which Mr Bailie was held by many former pupils and staff at the south Derry school.

“So sorry to hear this.....true gentleman,” one Facebook post.

Another read: “He was a man of strong character and great principles,God bless his family.”

“So sorry to h ear this R.I.P. Master Bailie,” said a former pupil.

“Condolences to his dear wife and family friends he was a gentleman.”

A death notice reported Mr Bailie passed away last Thursday, [April 21], peacefully in hospital.

A funeral service was held in home in Ballyclare on Saturday followed by interment in Rashee Cemetery.