A DINNER lady who has served more than one million meals to children in a career spanning 43 years has retired.
Dilys Jones, known as Aunty Dilys to the children at Ysgol Heufan in Gwersyllt, is hanging up her apron after years of dedicated service.
After a career seeing thousands of children, including her own, pass through the school gates, Dilys says it is the children she will miss the most.
“The children are so lovely.
“It’s such a friendly place, the staff and everyone.”
And after almost half a century of hard work, Dilys plans to enjoy a well earned break.
She said: “I am going to have a good rest even though I am not really a resting person. It has been a big part of my life.”
Even though she has spent more than half of her life working at the school, 71-year-old Dilys said she won’t stay away for long:
“I am going to go back voluntarily listening to the children read and getting involved with the Christmas concert so I won’t be pensioned off just yet.
“It’s something that you just can’t break up from really.”
Mrs Jones described the school as like “one big family” and even her grandsons know how important she is.
“One of them said ‘Nan you are just like the Queen, everyone calls you Aunty Dilys’.”
The mother-of-two started working at the school when her eldest daughter turned five because the school hours meant she could fit the job around being a mum.
And after a career which has seen six headteachers come and go, Dilys has cherished her time at the school.
“I could have retired 11 years ago but I just plodded on because I enjoyed it so much.
“I am a very lucky lady.”
Current headteacher Julia Thomas-Haigh paid tribute to the effect Dilys has had on everyone at the school.
She said: “I joked with her today that she is like a stick of rock with Ysgol Heufan written through her.
“It’s amazing. We believe she has prepared more than a million meals.
“The fact that children see her as a friend and as a mum speaks volumes.
“Dilys has been devoted to the work we have been doing and she has been our backbone.
“I will miss her a great deal.”