Ex-head among air crash victims
9:06am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Local
A FORMER Bolton secondary school headteacher was among those killed in the Nepal air tragedy.
Timothy Oakes, aged 57, was one of 19 passengers who died in the plane crash, including seven Britons The group were on their way to begin trekking in the Himalayas.
Mr Oakes was headteacher of Hayward School in Great Lever between 2001 and 2006.
The school has since closed and Essa Academy has opened in its place.
Jeff Ellis, deputy headteacher of Essa Academy, paid tribute to his former colleague and friend.
He said: ”Anyone who knew Tim was struck by his kindness and generosity.
“Almost 2,000 students moved through the school whilst Tim was headteacher. Many of them have already paid tribute to him and the impact he had on their lives.”
“Tim's former colleagues are shocked and deeply upset. Our condolences go out to Angie, his wife, and Joanna, his daughter, on whom he doted.
“Tim had always enjoyed the outdoors and the trip to Everest base camp was a lifetime ambition.
“It is a cruel thought that his pursuit of this other passion in his life has ended so tragically.”
Former secretary of the Bolton-branch of the National Union of Teachers Barry Conway, who also taught at Hayward, said: “The last time I saw Tim he was sitting with a group of Year Seven students in the dinner hall eating, chatting and laughing. That image summed him up.
“I had become NUT branch secretary shortly before Tim arrived as headteacher, which meant our interests did not always coincide. Nevertheless, he was always keen to engage in dialogue to overcome the myriad of issues education changes presented.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends who I know must miss him terribly.”
Tributes to Mr Oakes were paid on the social networking site Twitter, with one describing him as a “legendary headteacher”.
In 2008, Mr Oakes, who lived in Cheshire, joined Lancashire County Council’s advisory service, helping schools make a positive difference for their students.
The Foreign Office has declined to comment on when the bodies of the seven Britons might be returned to the UK.
It has been reported that the victims' bodies will have to stay at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital until they are identified, meaning families could face a wait of months before they are sent home.
Officials in Nepal are said to have rejected an offer of help with the process from British experts.
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