A Tribute to Tony Southern
Anthony (Tony) Southern joined the staff of Openshaw Technical College in September 1966.
At that time he was working as an instructor in the English Steel apprentice training school and had already done some part time work at the College.
I joined the College at the same time. We were interviewed together by David Salvage, the then head of the Mechanical Engineering department and were both offered jobs working on the new EITB 48 week off the job training scheme.
Tony was familiar with all engineering manufacturing processes and worked hard devising craft theory and practical exercises to develop the skills of the apprentices on the scheme. He also taught on BTEC courses in maths and science.
Later he worked with Denis Rothwell and Norman Bede installing a numerically controlled milling machine and then on developing the CNC manufacturing facility in College workshop W43. This meant that the department could offer computer aided manufacturing courses to local industry.
Tony’s skills and hard work were an important asset to the College. Tony was a devoted family man. Wife Maureen and his two daughters were the most important people in his life. They lived in Timperly, later moving to Hale and were members of the National Trust and involved in many local activities in the area.
He had a large aviary where he bred mop head canaries. He was regarded as an expert in the field and was president of the associated society. He was involved in judging at the various shows in the UK and abroad.
We both took early retirement in 1996. We had worked closely together, been on courses together and socialised together and in the almost 30 years we knew each other we never had a cross word. Tony was more than a respected colleague, he was a true friend. My one regret was that I heard about his death too late to attend his funeral.
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