A FORMER chairman of governors at St Stephen’s Primary School in Tockholes was remembered during an open day at the school.

Prof Clive Willis died earlier this year but his work for the school was commemorated when a gardening shed and flower beds were dedicated in his memory by Darwen MP Jake Berry.

Prof Willis, who was aged 79, was a governor at the school for 10 years and chairman from 2001 to 2007.

Headteacher Dominic James said: “We owe a great deal to Prof Willis for his many years of dedicated service to the school and this is a way of marking his contribution to the life of St Stephen’s.”

Prof Willis, a distinguished Bolton School ‘old boy’ and graduate of Cambridge University, enjoyed a long academic career teaching Spanish and Portuguese studies.

He taught at Manchester, Liverpool, Rhodesia and Oxford Universities and penned ‘An Essential Course in Modern Portuguese’, considered essential reading for those wishing to study the language.

In his retirement, he worked voluntarily on the boards of Bolton Area Health Authority, Bolton Age Concern and Bolton Mencap.

He left behind his wife, Barbara, children Martin, Antonia, Rachel and Richard and grandchildren Lauren, Oscar and Harry.

The Willis family are still heavily involved at the village school, with his widow Barbara running a breakfast club and involved in the gardening aspect of school life, while daughter Rachel is a governor.

Unveiling the shed and flower beds, Mr Berry said: “It is always a pleasure to visit St Stephen’s.

“It is a fantastic school with a proud history and plays a vital role in the local community.

“The staff and pupils are always very friendly and welcoming.

“Tockholes is very lucky to have such a fantastic school on its doorstep.”