Thanksgiving service for John

John Almond
John Almond
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A thanksgiving service is being held on Monday for highly-respected Gazette columnist John Almond, who died suddenly aged 70.

The celebration of John’s life takes place at 11.45am at Sunniside Methodist Church, following cremation at 11am at Mountsett Crematorium in County Durham.

Family flowers only but donations in lieu can be made to the Chitepani Trust. A collection will be taken a church or cheques, made payable to Chitepani Trust, can be sent to Coop Funeralcare, Bridge Street, Blaydon, NE21 4JJ.

John, who died at home in Sunniside on December 12, wrote the monthly Nature Notes for the Gazette for many years on behalf of the Alnwick and District Natural History Society.

He was born on Tyneside and, on leaving Gosforth Grammar School, he completed his chemistry studies at Loughborough University, working in industry for a short while before returning to Bristol University to complete his PGCE.

He then spent his entire teaching career in Amble, first at Amble County Secondary School and then on reorganisation at Amble Middle School.

John’s lifelong interest was the great outdoors and he passed on his enthusiasm to his students via the North Northumberland Bird Club and his huge involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – he himself was one of the early recipients of the Gold Award.

Out of school, he devoted much of his time to his interest in natural history and since 1970 was much involved with the Alnwick group, serving in many capacities, including chairman for several years.

He was also closely associated with the Amble and Alnwick Local History Societies and Coquetmouth and Coquetdale Wildlife Trust Groups.

John travelled widely throughout the world, proudly visiting every continent, saving Europe for his retirement. Major trips in his retirement included trips to Antarctica and Everest Basecamp.