By John Breeds
I am sad to report the death of Stan Jones, a caring and totally dedicated Rye teacher for almost half a century.
Stan was appointed to the staff of Rye Grammer School in 1953 to teach mathematics and games. He continued to teach at Thomas Peacocke School where he became Head of Maths and at the Community College, becoming Senior Deputy Head before his retirement in 1988. After this he continued to work as a supply teacher, so giving almost four decades of service to the school.
In addition to his enormous skills in teaching maths, organising examinations, covering for absent staff and constructing the school timetable, Stan gave freely and gladly of his time for coaching cricket and football out of school hours. He supported the budding sports stars of Rye by ferrying them to and fro and attending their matches.
Stan played soccer for Rye United and also hockey for Rye in the 1950s. He gave great service to Rye Cricket Club as a batsman and wicket keeper of some distinction. In the late 1970s, when he retired from playing cricket, he was appointed chairman of the Club and, later, granted the honour of life membership.
He was a great supporter of anything in which the youngsters were involved. I invariably found myself sitting next to him at College plays, musicals and carol services. He was also involved with the Friends of the Rye Wurlitzer, was chairman of the Old Scholars Association for many years, and was a Foundation Governor of the School.
Stan was also a keen gardener, creating a wonderful garden at his home in Leasam Lane.
I have one particularly treasured memory of Stan from my first year at secondary school in 1958. We had been practising cricket on the field below Leasam. I suffered from poor circulation and my fingers went totally white and became firmly clamped to the handle of a bat. I couldn’t let go of it when the practice ended. Another teacher might have shouted at me for being stupid or messing about. Stan, however, was very sympathetic. He gently prised my fingers from the bat and walked with me back to the school where he ran a bowl of warm water, immersed my hands in it and kneaded my fingers until the circulation returned. All my subsequent contact with him just reinforced this first impression of him as a very special person to whom every individual mattered.
On Thursday 8th March the large number of former staff and students who attended his funeral were testimony to a wonderful teacher and a kind and caring man. He will be greatly missed.
Rye’s Own April 2003
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