St Mary’s College owe the late James Doherty so much

James Doherty.
James Doherty.

“An outstanding governor who has served St Mary’s College and the wider education in the North West with enormous skill and good judgement. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

This is how the principal of St Mary’s College Marie Lindsay described the school’s late governor James Doherty who passed away last Friday.

The Derry man, widely regarded as one the city’s greatest advocates for education served on the board of governors for several schools in the city including St Mary’s College.

“There is a deep sense of gratitude for all James’ great work for the school over a 26 year period,” said Marie Lindsay.

“Mr James Doherty was quite simply an amazing man. He will be remembered, not only for his championing of civil rights for the people of Derry and his great business acumen but also for his long service, in a voluntary capacity, to education in the North West.”

James joined the Board of Governors of St Mary’s College in January 1986. He served as chairperson until 2010 and continued to serve as a governor until 2012.

With a total of 26 years of service James is St Mary’s longest serving governor and has served under three principals.

“James guided St Mary’s College through unprecedented changes and to incredible successes,” said Marie Lindsay.

“He played a key role in St Mary’s being recognised with the four Northern Ireland Quality Awards and the EFQM European Quality Award on two occasions. He enthusiastically supported our bid to be one of the first 13 Specialist Schools in Northern Ireland and was keen that, as an all girls’ school, science would be our specialism, thus maximising career opportunities for our young girls.

“His wonderful commitment to St Mary’s and the community it serves was never more evident than in his unstinting and enthusiastic support for the new school building at Northland Road. He was delighted to witness the opening of the new St Mary’s in 2010.

“To me, James was that critical friend, regularly taking me out of my comfort zone, challenging me and urging me to try out new ideas. He was an outstanding governor who has served St Mary’s College with enormous skill and good judgement.

“ St Mary’s College was truly blessed to have had James as a governor and loyal friend for so long. James was a man of the highest integrity and great humility. We owe him a great debt of gratitude, we will miss him.