While Mr Cobiac and Mr Ali prepare for retirement, Simon and Frank’s work at Blackfriars is only just starting.
The school’s Parents and Friends has donated a new barbecue trailer, with the two hotplates named “Simon” and “Frank” as a tribute to Blackfriars’ retiring leaders.
P+F chairman Jon Driscoll last night unveiled the trailer at the Primary Awards and Year 6 Graduation, saying naming the hotplates after Mr Cobiac and Mr Ali was a fitting tribute to the pair.
He said the school’s need for a barbecue trailer became apparent some years ago.
“It was initially an idea that was born from an event that we ran that had some challenges, some things went wrong,” Mr Driscoll said.
“These challenges were the subject of many conversations, with many people … over weeks, months and, ashamedly, years.
“Indeed, this idea was discussed with our retiring Primary Principal, Mr Frank Ali, a great supporter of the P+F and the community as a whole, and, might I say, on a number of occasions, quite pointedly, with our illustrious outgoing school Principal Mr Simon Cobiac.
“I personally remember, on more than one occasion, times when Simon suggested to me in ‘persuasive terms’ that other schools he has served at, and their communities, had similar facilities. Well, I heard him, and so did the P+F committee.”
Mr Driscoll said the barbecue trailer would “support events and activities into the future, for all of us”.
Mr Cobiac has been our Principal since 2017, after starting his teaching career at Blackfriars in the late 1970s.
Mr Ali also began his career at Blackfriars, as a Year 6 teacher in 1981. He has had two stints as Head of Primary – from 1986 to 1998, and from 2018 to now.