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Engineer Ronald Duckling collects his degree 45 years after graduating
An engineer from Watford who missed his graduation 45 years ago finally collected his scroll of honour last week when he attended the University of Salford’s graduation ceremony.
Ronald Duckling, now retired, achieved a 2:1 in chemical engineering but started work for M W Kellogg in Bavaria before he could collect his degree.
His son Tomas and daughter Karen arranged the occasion as a surprise for their father after a late-night conversation revealed that his biggest regret in life was not being able to officially celebrate his achievement.
Tomas secretly contacted the University and on his father’s birthday presented him with an email agreeing that he could formally graduate with the rest of the University’s students in 2012.
Mr Duckling, 67, said: "Although I had seen my children and my partner, Sue, graduate, I did regret not having formally done so myself.
"I was moved to tears when I saw what my children had organised. It had never occurred to me that this would be possible.
"I cannot believe my luck. I was almost certainly one of the oldest graduates at the ceremony, but I was as proud as any of them and particularly proud of my two children, who made this possible."
During his career, Mr Duckling started as a process engineer at M W Kellogg, eventually becoming Manager of Design Engineering and also running the instruments and electrical departments at various times, before moving into computer uses in engineering, finishing his career after 43 years with the same company as a Project Information Manager.
He attended the ceremony with his partner, Sue Feltham, children Tomas and Karen and former wife Diana. He has lived in Watford for 35 years, having moved to the town when the company relocated.