Our return to the College on Sunday night was a very different one, the absence of our good friend and colleague Mr. Gary Halpin RIP was painfully obvious for all. I want to thank all members of our full College community for the many messages of sympathy and support that we received – both personal messages and also those added to our online condolence book – [email protected]
We learn more every day about the “extras” that Mr. Halpin did in support of so many students and parents. It is not surprising that we were not previously aware of these “extras” as he was far too humble to ever mention them.
During Mr. Halpin’s time as Head of Boarding he attended meetings with the Heads of Boarding from the other boarding schools. We have received many calls and emails from the members of this network and they have all been so effusive in their praise of Gary. They all mention his energy, his love of the College and his personal qualities – warm and funny. We have also received similar messages from many other schools. Gary had made a lasting impression on so many people.
When Gary and his wife Carol joined our College in January 2017 they quickly settled into their new roles in the College and together they had a very positive impact on student life. The three virtue ethics for educational leadership are authenticity, presence and a duty of care. In Gary’s role as Head of Boarding he ticked all of these three. He was a formidable presence – he welcomed parents and students when they returned to the College with his warmth and easy conversation. The many emails and messages testify to his caring nature; care of the students was always his number one priority. We all know from working with him how authentic he was – he lived the values of our ethos is his daily practice – in short he walked the talk.
Gary always wanted to work in an environment where there was harmony and kindness shown to all. When we met our students on Sunday night we reminded them of this and told them that the best way that we can honour Gary’s memory is to support this philosophy.
Each morning of this week staff and students have remembered Gary in our Morning Prayer. We have also prayed for Carol – his wife and our colleague – and their children Bentley, Leonie and Lenka. Please continue to keep them in your own thoughts and prayers too. We are very grateful for the enormous contribution that Gary made to our College community during his time with us. May his gentle soul rest in peace.