|11 Oct 2019|
Christine Straker was a superb ambassador for the Schools and The Allanian Society, motivated by her deep love of the people who made up the schools past and present. A former teacher at St Cuthbert’s, in her retirement Christine embarked upon another school career as an invigilator at Dame Allan's Schools. As an ‘Old Girl’, she was already an enthusiastic supporter of the school and, keen to maintain links with other alumnae, she became involved with the Old Girls' Association, eventually becoming President. Christine was an enthusiastic supporter of the merger with the Old Boys' Association to form the Old Allanians and served as President for three years from the tercentenary until the association became The Allanian Society. She then served for 11 years as Vice President, only stepping down at the September 2019 AGM.
Across all these years and roles, Christine was an energiser and a moderniser, upholding the core values and high standards of the schools and seeking to help current students engage with their heritage as Allanians. It was Christine's idea to frame old school photographs so that pupils and staff in the dining hall could be connected to previous generations. She also wanted previous generations to connect with the current pupils and was delighted that the reunion of her year group resulted in the establishment of a bursary fund for pupils today.
It was fitting that Christine should be elected as a Life Vice President in 2019, an office used very sparingly by the Society for those who have served the schools with dedication. Unstintingly she gave us her wise counsel, her no-nonsense pragmatism, her infectious enthusiasm and her sense of fun.
Her former Geography and form teacher, S. Angela Crossfield, pays tribute: “I have known Christine for a long time. Arriving as a new member of staff at DAGS in 1963, she was one of several 14 year old girls in my first form class. The fact that she opted to take my subject (Geography) at A level meant that I knew, from an early stage in our relationship, her heart was in the right place! Both living at the coast, our paths have often crossed over the years and I have been able to keep up to date with her life's adventures and cement a friendship which I have valued. Christine never forgot or lost touch with her alma mater, Dame Allan's, and this prompted her to take a leading role, at first in the Old Girls' Association and then, more recently, the Allanian Society. She gave generously of her time and energy. My last memory of her was when she attended the reunion of the 1968 leavers and addressed the group, speaking most persuasively and encouraging them to make donations to the School's Development or Bursary fund. In all the years I knew Christine she remained constant. She possessed a wealth of qualities that endeared her to all who knew her and we shall always remember her with love and great affection.”
Christine Straker died peacefully following her battle with motor neurone disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Trevor and her sons Robbie and Reece.