RETIREMENT The Holly Leaf (1938)

Mr George R. Davies B.Sc., (London) - Retired in 1938

The time has come for us to say Goodbye and Good Luck to Mr. G. R. Davies, who at the end of this Term, is leaving us to enjoy the benefits - and, we hope, the pleasures - of retirement after a long life of cheerful service.

Mr. Davies received his education in Mason College, now the University of Birmingham, of which he was a Scholar, and the Imperial College of Science.  After graduation, he became a teacher of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, and Games Master in Secondary and Grammar Schools at St. Asaph, Hawarden, Hastings and Retford, before he joined the Pupil Teacher Centre, eighteen years ago.  Since then he has been intimately associated with this School and taken a "live" part in many of its activities.

For many years Mr. Davies has been Manager of The Holly Leaf, and no better testimony of his services to the School can be found than in the pages of the magazine.  Those of us who have worked with him in the production of a magazine know how much devoted labour and how much of his own time have been freely given to it.  Its regular appearance and the maintenance of its standards bear a fitting testimony to his interest and his self-effacing work.  He was also the founder of the School Orchestra which flourished before the School's musical interests became focussed in it s Choral Society.  Indeed his enthusiasm may be measured by the fact that he taught himself the art of playing the 'cello in order to take an active part in the Orchestra.  He has always been interested in music and in his other schools made valuable contributions to its study and practice.

Mr. Davies has also been particularly engaged with games.  He represented his College in football and cricket, and his success in the former led to an invitation to play for that club now known as West Ham.  In all his schools, he has fostered a liking for both games, and here he has given freely of his time in Form "friendlies," School matches and Staff fixtures.  He is now interested in golf.

It is impossible to say in cold print how much this School and especially its present members, will miss his genial presence.  He was always quite an unassuming, patient and cheerful.  He not only did his ordinary work of teaching and administration in that same steady spirit, but found time and energy to undertake other duties and activities - even for the unpleasant and thankless, he often volunteered, and was always the first to offer his help in someone else's difficulties.  The writer cannot remember an occasion when Mr. Davies offered resistance to a reasonable course of action dictated by commonsense, or when he complained of his lot, or grumbled about his grievances.  On the other hand, when he was convinced of the rightness of his attitude, he calmly proceeded on his course without any show of passion or resentment.  In all his relations he was essentially tactful and kindly.  He was generous and ever scrupulously, because innately, courteous in his dealings with Staff and pupils alike.  He could always be counted upon to find something to say in favour of a boy's character, or a cause, when others emphasised its deficiencies.  His moderation exercised a kindly restraint on others, and his humour and human-ness brought out the best in them.  His conversation was never self-centred or personal, and his company at all times was delightful.  He was once described by one who knew him well as "eminently a Christian gentleman, in education and manners."

Another Head Master paid his character the same tribute when he said:  "He is a gentleman in the highest sense of the word."

We shall all be the losers by his retirement, but we hope that his will be the gain in a very real sense.  He has good health and vigour - nobody thinks him old enough to retire - and we wish him many years to enjoy both.  We confidently expect to learn that his golf handicap is steadily being reduced, and to see his name figure frequently in the competition results at Lees Hall.  For him, and for Miss Davies, we wish those things they most wish for themselves, and leisure, happy memories to service well performed, and troops of friends.