A MEMBER of a school catering team has been honoured for their 50-plus years of service.

Mariano Lechon joined the Bryanston school near Blandford more than 50 years ago and became head chef in 1979.

Mr Lechon was presented with a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne in recognition of his long service at a special award ceremony.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time here, especially when it comes to serving the pupils and seeing them tuck into an increasingly diverse menu – so much so that I just couldn’t stay away and still work around 32 hours a week.”

Two other members of staff have also been recognised for their long service - Veronica Peck who has worked there for 30 years and Drew Beaver who has been at Bryanston for 20 years.

Richard Jones, the school’s acting head, said: “While we often celebrate long-service achievements of staff, it is unusual to mark three service contributions at the same time.

“I applaud the dedication, expertise, and commitment shown by Mariano, Veronica, and Drew for what amounts to a century of support for the Bryanston community.

“Mariano’s passion for great quality food lies at the heart of everyday life and all special events at the school, and both Veronica and Drew have an enthusiasm for sport that is truly infectious and inspiring.”