Rhubarb 2019

38 ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Common Room Obituaries John Fielding On 11th February 2019, Reverend John

Jane Haddock On 15th April 2019, Jane Haddock (House Nurse of Macnamara’s and Tilly’s 1973-1997). These words are from Stuart Bartholomew (B, 1970- 1974 and CR, 1985 to date): Jane Haddock, much loved House Nurse of Mac’s and Tilly’s for 24 years, died on 15th April. The words ‘much loved’ are not just a formula easily used on this occasion but reflect the great affection in which Jane was held by family, friends and former pupils of Mac’s and Tilly’s. She was born in Nyasaland (now Malawi) and attended Kingsmead College, a girls’ school in Johannesburg. She related stories of the hugely long train journeys to and from school at the start and end of term. Later, she trained at St Thomas’s hospital in London. In the mid-1960s her marriage ended and by 1973 she was at St Edward’s, which her two oldest sons were already attending. She and her four boys moved into 50 Oakthorpe Road. Jane’s ability to see the funny side, her radiant smile, and the impossibility of pulling the wool over her eyes were elements that made her a ‘natural’ as a House Nurse. Given that, in those days, all the House nurses except Apsley’s looked after a pair of Houses each, (Sing’s and

behind his words, and that is a rare quality which counts for a lot in a school community. John was tireless in his personal kindness and concern for people who were in trouble, illness or distress. This pastoral side of his work often went unnoticed because he rarely mentioned it, but many of us have reason to be grateful for his unexpected visits and support in time of need. I have myself on many occasions seen him go out of his way with a guest or visiting preacher to make him feel at home and introduce him to the staff at a meal or in the Common Room. Before coming to St Edward’s he had worked in Northern Ireland and in Germany (he taught German as well as Divinity) which meant that he came with a rather unique area of experience on which he was able to draw constructively in his school work. Within the Chapel he took meticulous care over the planning and ordering of the School’s worship both on the big occasions and the routine ones. At the same time, he widened and strengthened the already well-established links with the local parish of Summertown and became a well-known and welcome preacher and celebrant at St Michael’s. Claire, John’s attractive and delightful wife, will long be remembered for her kindness, her wry humour and warm-hearted friendship and concern for people. With their two daughters the Fieldings will be much missed in North Oxford generally. John has been appointed Vicar of Highgate, one of the great parishes of the London Diocese, a challenging and demanding appointment which clearly is a recognition of his qualities. As he moves to this wider sphere of work he can be assured of our warmest good wishes and thanks. Update from John’s daughters, Hilary and Anne: The article is appropriate about our father’s time at the school and in fact a lot of what it says resonates with what he used to say about the challenges of a boarding school at that time. After leaving Teddies in 1973, John spent the next 24 years as Vicar of St Michael, Highgate – a busy, demanding parish – until his retirement. His wife, Claire, sadly died in 1983 at the age of 50. With great joy, John remarried in 1991, to Margaret, who survives him.

Fielding (Chaplain, 1969-1973). The following article, written by Reverend J E Ralphs, appeared in the Chronicle , November 1973 (no 588) and is followed by an update kindly provided by John’s daughters Hilary and Anne: John Fielding came to St Edward’s in 1969 to succeed Paul Drake as Chaplain. This in itself would have been a challenge, but in addition he arrived at a time when, like many school chaplains, he had to face and weather the storm of discontent which blew through public school chapels in the late 1960s and early ’70s. It is a tribute to his achievement that, though his stay was a comparatively short one, there is every sign that the storm has largely blown itself out and he leaves behind a spirit of genuine worship in the Chapel and a viable and appreciated choice of services which are working well. I am sure that not the least of his achievements was one of which he was himself largely unaware, namely the impression he made on the younger boys. They instinctively respected his integrity and his faith. They soon discovered that here was a man who meant what he said and lived by it. As they grew older they may not always have agreed with or liked what he did say but they recognized the force of real conviction


Reverend John Fielding

Jane Haddock

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