Popular Coolum State School principal Pat Cavanagh rings the bell one last time in June ahead of retirement after 22 years.
Popular Coolum State School principal Pat Cavanagh rings the bell one last time in June ahead of retirement after 22 years.

Principal Pat’s back with a bit of ‘human’ chat

As Coolum's longest serving school principal Pat Cavanagh was always willing to entertain as he educated … even if it meant riding his luck as a school leader on a motorbike Meatloaf-style into an assembly.

Final bell tolls after 44 years for Pat

Coolum high students hit the beach

He retired in June after 22 unforgettable years of inspired capers at Coolum State School.

His trademark entrances on parade in a crazy hair costume came with a call out to his students"Who da man?" followed by delighted responses "You da man".

There was also his grand exit from his 44-year teaching career on the back of a trike chopper to a local street send-off.

And the kids still talk about the time Mr Cavanagh turned out on sports day dressed as jolly green Shrek to cheer on his young charges.

Popular Coolum State School principal Pat Cavanagh was farewelled into retirement after 22 years.
Popular Coolum State School principal Pat Cavanagh was farewelled into retirement after 22 years.

The 64-year-old Yaroomba local is looking to do a comeback of sorts.

Mr Cavanagh is offering his services for local functions as The Microphone Man, a sideline on top of his main role these days of playing doting grandfather.

Mr Cavanagh gets his motor running at school assembly.
Mr Cavanagh gets his motor running at school assembly.

Mr Cavanagh said he was not out to steal the show but inject a bit of a human warmth with the stacks of local families, groups and associations he had built up a strong rapport with over many years.

The veteran host of more than 1000 weekly school gatherings at Coolum alone said his aim was to "bring a personal touch" to local gigs.

"The events are important, but you need to story behind the people at the events and their families," Pat said.

Where's that wizard of school head Pat? Right beside Coolum's loveable Wally.
Where's that wizard of school head Pat? Right beside Coolum's loveable Wally.

"How they got to be there is the important things people want to know.

"I always thought I could connect with an audience and individualise any event."

Mr Cavanagh said he was looking forward to staying in tune with local groups and people as well as meeting new ones.

"We'll be living here for the foreseeable future, we've got grandkids in Brisbane and up north so staying here is pretty handy because they like coming to the beach," he said.

This was the poster for Pat's planned big March send off which was delayed until June because of COVID.
This was the poster for Pat's planned big March send off which was delayed until June because of COVID.

"We live in a pretty nice part of Yaroomba and because I was at Coolum school for so long we've got lots of second generation family connections.

"Over time obviously you gain an appreciation and understanding of what the surf club does in town, of what the bowls club does and how they contribute to the community's wellbeing and welfare."

He helped to build the Coolum State School Friday evening carnival into the town's number one annual social event.

He said he had a reasonable understanding of the community's connectivity.

"I always try have a bit of fun with people, but I could be serious and mixed it up pretty well.

"You get people involved and ham it up a bit and people respond to that."


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