WHEN a primary school wrote to a Huddersfield ex-pat living in Australia they expected little more than a letter in return.
Instead, every pupil of last year’s Year Five at Crow Lane Primary School in Milnsbridge received a personal letter from Dennis Craig.
Mr Craig, who lives in a nursing home at Burton, north of Adelaide, appeared in the Examiner in March.
He was once a trainee electrician at F W Taylor and Son, Milnsbridge and left Britain in 1950 as a one of over a million ‘Ten Pound Poms’ – Britons who bought a £10 one-way ticket to Australia after World War Two.
Mr Craig, who was raised in Golcar and went to Crow Lane School, put out an appeal to find out how his old town and school had changed.
Taking up the challenge, each of the then Year Five pupils wrote to Mr Craig to fill him in on the town and the school’s development.
The youngsters also compiled a booklet on the history of the school and sent it to the ex-pat.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Craig circled his face in a photo in the booklet, sent it back to the school and began writing to each pupil, one by one.
He also sent photos of himself and pictures of dolls houses and wooden racing horses he had built.
The pupils, now in Year Six, will continue to correspond with Mr Craig, who was 86 in March, as a way of getting young people in touch with older people.
Headteacher Wendy Wallace said: “The children used the opportunity to go online and learn about his town and his nursing home.
“The children really enjoy it and they didn’t expect to each get a personal letter back and that’s what’s quite overwhelming.
“It’s important to build an understanding between younger and older generations. Community cohesion is important, not just for racial groups, but for people from different generations and that’s part of our school improvement plan.”