|5 Oct 2021|
A Tribute to Bill
Bill Jeffrey, a man who was not gushing in what he had to say but what was said was honest, measured and totally sincere. For possessing those attributes contained in this first sentence the most apt accolade than can be paid is very simply, “Thank you Bill”
For the many hundreds of maths pupils of all abilities I strongly suspect that you will wholeheartedly agree with the very simple tribute contained in the second sentence.
For the many hundreds of Boarders that passed through Edinburgh and then the newly built Rank House, you, I suspect, will wholeheartedly agree with those three simple words.
For the vast number of staff who taught with Bill, or worked with him either as full time tutors in a Boarding House or as visiting/resident teachers, I am sure your sentiments will be in concert with all those maths pupils and Boarders.
Why I am I so sure that the respect he generated will be summed up in those three words? Over the many years of working with Bill, from 1976 in Rank and then following a number of paths within Gatton Park, the vast number of people that I have met who knew Bill Jeffrey at that time had only positive words to say about the quietly spoken, caring and, on times when the occasion warranted it, a man with a quiet but “wicked” sense of humour.
I have no doubt that many of you who had, over the years, come into contact with Bill could add over even more tributes and accolades and would undoubtedly expand upon what you would say and why you said it. Of course, amid all the fine words, the name Beth would regularly appear. What Bill offered to the Gatton Community was inextricably linked and totally complemented by the work of Beth. This tribute could stretch for many pages when their help and guidance was considered as a fantastic husband and wife team. Of course we all know what they did and how many benefitted from their care, guidance and kindness.
Tributes have been pouring in and will continue to do so. But what would we expect for a man who went about his business very quietly and very effectively. I am sure that all within the family of Gatton will join me in simply saying, “Thank you Bill”
Chairman of the Gatton Association