Soham Grammarians - Jeff Watson (51 entry) remembers some saving graces

[August 2006, from Montreal, Quebec] Thanks for the invitation to the 2006 Dinner! However, I do not anticipate being in UK at that time, otherwise I would have attended, if only to see Rex Waller, my all time favourite teacher and scoutmaster. Please give my regards to Rex and to Ted Quinn, who suffered my lack of comprehension of Physics.

If Leon Kitchen is at the dinner please give him my kindest regards. I will never forget the time he took with me after I was ordered (as a sadistic punishment, since he knew that standing up before the whole school was terrifying for me) by Ted Armitage to represent the boarding school in a recitation of Kipling's If in front of the whole school. His encouragement and coaching enabled me to get through this task. If not for him, I would never have been capable of going through with the recitation ..

My brother Malcolm Watson (1947 entry) was head of the boarding house, and a prefect when I had my troubles with Ted Armitage and company. The problem was, my brother was a model student, a Queen's Scout, and the second winner of the Bacon Cup etc. I guess I was supposed to be a clone, but wasn't! My brother now lives in Crete.

Fortunately my parents took me out of the boarding school to avoid me getting expelled, and then, thankfully, they moved to Norwich in February 1955 so that I could start anew at another school, the City of Norwich School. Well, enough about my concerns and SGS, some times were fun, some teachers were excellent, but the leadership was Victorian. I was glad to move so that I could study without the hassle of Armitage's ideas of discipline.

I left City of Norwich School in 1959 for Hatfield College, Durham University where I ended up with a Doctorate in Ecology. I left for Canada in 1966 to do marine fisheries research.

Last year I retired from the world of natural resources and the environment. I have a new career though - I now am a full time sculptor of various sorts of stone, and will have had three exhibitions by the end of 2006.

My first influence concerning sculpture was courtesy of Dilly Drake who inspired me to create, and to express myself through clay. The art room was a refuge of sorts for me since I was extremely unhappy at the boarding school and sought out the art room after school and before boarding school dinner as an escape from the suffocating atmosphere and extreme discipline of some at Soham.

It took me a while to develop my artistic talents, and work intervened more than I would have liked. However, I experimented with silver jewellery for a long time and then moved on to stone sculpture. On my retirement I took up sculpture pretty much full time, and with luck and good health, intend to pursue my new career until my hands or brain cease to function .. please click for a larger image
Determination - Détermination
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Free Spirit - Esprit Libre
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Joy - Joie
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Liberty - Liberté
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Percer le Mur du Silence

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page last updated 26 Aug 06