SHE has been described as a ‘true legend’ of Portsmouth’s Highbury College.
But after almost 50 years, dedicated Barbara Green is finally moving on to pastures new.
The 70-year-old was overwhelmed when more than 50 members of staff from the college threw her a surprise retirement party to mark her departure this week.
She said: ‘I didn’t expect anything like this. I was slightly shell-shocked by it.
‘I’m a bit of a dinosaur I’ve been here so long. I’d rather have just slipped away quietly to be honest.’
Barbara started her career at the Cosham college in 1970 and has stayed ever since.
Starting off as a chemistry lecturer, Barbara had a long and varied career at Highbury and has helped to teach and support thousands of students from across the area.
After being made redundant from her chemistry role, Barbara took on a new job within the college’s health and safety department before eventually becoming Highbury’s health and safety and environment manager.
Highbury principal and chief executive Stella Mbubaegbu said the loss would leave a big hole in the college’s community.
Paying tribute to Barbara, she said: ‘She is a true Highbury legend. Everybody knows Barbara and will miss her. Her role is so important and she teaches every single member of staff and every student as our health and safety welfare officer.’
Barbara said she was sad to go but that she wanted to look forward.
‘My colleagues have been the reason I stayed for so long,’ she said.
‘They’re the most amazing bunch of people.
‘I always worked with some of the most supportive people at Highbury.’
Barbara, from Horndean, is now looking forward to spending more time with her grandaughter and her WI group. She is also keen to tackle new computing classes to broaden her IT knowledge.