MR TONY BARON OF OAKHILL SCHOOL BECOMES A KNIGHT OF THE PONTIFICAL ORDER OF ST GREGORY THE GREAT
Tony Baron, Managing Director and Chair of Governors of Oakhill School and Nursery in Whalley has been honoured with the highest accolade bestowed on a private individual by the Catholic Church. On Wednesday 29th November, Tony was awarded the Papal Knighthood of St Gregory the Great in an Investiture ceremony, which took place at the School.
The Knight of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great is one of the five pontifical orders of the Holy See in the Catholic Church. The order is bestowed on Roman Catholic men and women in recognition of their service to the Church, the Holy See, and acknowledges exceptional endeavours and the good example they set in their communities and country. Pope Gregory XVI formed The Papal Order of Saint Gregory on 1 September 1831 with four classes of which a Knight is one.
The ceremony took place at Oakhill in a Mass officiated by the Right Reverend, John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, in the company of 400 invited guests, parishioners, parents and pupils. Tony was regaled in a fine green jacket, black hat with feathers, a short sword with a handle made of mother of pearl with a medallion of the order and an eight-pointed cross, the insignia of the Order.
The Pontifical Order particularly recognizes Mr Baron’s work at Oakhill School and Nursery. Oakhill College, as it was formerly known, was formed in 1978. In the late 90’s it was under the threat of closure and Tony Baron stepped in to save it. Oakhill’s motto is “faith stronger than the Oak’’ and generations have passed through the school receiving a faithful education. Tony started his career owning and running a group of Petrol Filling Stations across Preston and the Fylde Coast. On selling this business he anticipated retirement but was motivated to save the school and continue the Catholic ethos, warmth and special nature of the School.