At a meeting of the Catholic Education Commission in Glasgow on Saturday 6 December 2003, a presentation was made to Mr John Oates, Field Officer for the Commission, to mark his retirement.
John Oates a retired secondary school head teacher has been a member of the Commission for 22 years, serving as Field Officer for more than half that period. Following the creation earlier this year of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), it was agreed that the post of Field Officer would be discontinued in view of the fact that the SCES has a full time Director, Mr Michael McGrath.
In a tribute to Mr Oates, Fr. Joe Chambers, Vice-President of the Commission praised his "unstinting dedication to the cause of Catholic education" and thanked him for his years of loyal service to the Church in Scotland.
In reply, Mr Oates thanked the Commission membership for their generosity and accepted an invitation to continue to serve the CEC on the Legal Affairs Sub-group and as the representative of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland on the General Teaching Council (GTC).
(L to R) Fr. Joe Chambers,(Vice President - CEC) Mrs Margaret Lavery (PA to Director - SCES), Mr Michael McGrath (Director - SCES), Mr John Oates, Bishop Joseph Devine, (President - CEC)