Joe Blackledge RIP

31/07/2023 by Newman Staff

We were saddened to hear of the news of the recent death of Dr Joe Blackledge.

Joe was a key member of Newman’s first leadership team, serving as Deputy Principal from the very beginnings of Newman until his retirement in 1991. Joe’s time at Newman spanned our early days during which we were establishing ourselves as a Catholic teacher training college.

In that time he with other key staff, including the then Principal Simon Quinlan, was involved in recruiting our first staff and in turn interviewing and recruiting our first students. Joe was also a significant presence and influence in garnering support, locally and nationally, when Newman’s existence was threatened in 1982. He formed part of a delegation of over 100 students and key staff who met with the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, Sir Keith Joseph, presenting a petition and making a strong and, as it turned out, persuasive case for Newman’s continuation as a teacher training college.

Dr Joe Blackledge with the then Principal Pamela Taylor receiving his Honorary Fellowship in 2000

Dr Joe Blackledge with the then Principal Pamela Taylor receiving his Honorary Fellowship in 2000.

By the time he retired in 1991 Newman had over 1000 students and a very strong and stable base from which we have since developed.

Newman was delighted to honour Joe with an Honorary Fellowship in 2000 and grateful that he always remained a loyal and good friend to us. Vice-Chancellor Jackie Dunne on hearing of Joe’s death said “we are forever grateful to Dr Joe Blackledge for his contribution of our Newman community over the years, and specifically for his support to all our students in those early years, he will be greatly missed”

Joe died at home on Friday 7th July after a period of illness. His funeral will take place at Our Lady and St Brigid Catholic Church, Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield on Wednesday 9th August at 10.45am. May he rest in peace.

Our prayers and sympathies go to his wife Margaret, his family and friends and to all those members of the Newman community who shared their time with Joe.