In Loving Memory of

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George Walker

George Walker b. 25th January 1942, d. 4th March 2022, aged 80 years

George was a kind and compassionate man who dedicated a large part of his life to teaching and promoting international education.

Having studied Chemistry at Exeter College, Oxford and Music in Cape Town, George’s first move into a career in education was teaching science at Watford Boys Grammar School. A brief stint as a lecturer in Education at the University of York, was followed by an extended return to State Education as Deputy Head of Carisbrooke High School on the Isle of Wight and then two successive Headships, first at The Heathcote School, Stevenage and then The Cavendish School, Hemel Hempstead.

George was a vehement supporter of comprehensive education and helped to found, and later chaired, the steering committee of the Centre for the Study of Comprehensive Schools.  He became a member of the UK National Curriculum working party and made an active contribution to the development of the curriculum.  George was appointed OBE in 1992 for his services to education.

In 1991, George took on a new role as Director General of the International School of Geneva, and thus began a new life with his wife, Jenny, in Switzerland – an adventure that was to last 15 years.  As a result of his involvement with the school and their promotion of the International Baccalaureate, George was appointed Director General of the IBO in 1999, a role that he continued until his retirement.

In 1997 he was appointed visiting Professor at the Centre for the Study of Education in an International Context at the University of Bath.

In his leisure time, George loved walking in the mountains and skiing, even skiing down the Mont Blanc Glacier during his time in Geneva. He also enjoyed playing the piano and performed in a number of concerts.

Since returning to the UK, George has been enjoying a well-earned retirement in Suffolk.

George passed away peacefully on Friday 4th March 2022, aged 80, having spent 2 months in hospital following ongoing health issues and complications with a hip replacement operation.  We are very grateful to the medical staff who made his last weeks as comfortable as possible. He leaves behind his wife of almost 54 years, Jenny, his two children, Catherine and Simon, and four grandchildren, Robert, Claire, Thomas and Daniel.

The family would like to offer all his colleagues, friends and relatives the opportunity to pay their respects and post their memories and pictures of George.  This will allow them to look back at his life in years to come.

A JustGiving page has been set up for donations to UNICEF in memory of George.  

HTTPS://www.JustGiving.com/fundraising/Simon-walker68

Thank you

 

Book Owner: Hannah Walker
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Steve and Jayne Cooper

George was generous in thought, time and spirit. Whenever I sought his counsel, he was always able to provide a valuable and wise perspective, often based on his own experience or a particular challenge or opportunity he was working on. He made me feel as if I was helping him by asking for his …

Terry Haywood

I can’t claim to have been close to George or to have worked alongside him extenstively over the years but, like so many people in my profession as an international aducator, the debt I owe to him is immense.  George was at one and the same time a man of instinctive charm, integrity and …

Celia Clement-Smith

In this photo George is presented with a shield at the West Herts music festival. 1st prize! …

Celia Clement-Smith

On January 25th 1942 I was a 12 yr old at the Watford Girls Grammar School. As soon as school was finished I cycled through the snow to North Watford to where my Uncle Bill and Aunt Celia Walker lived.It was there that a large baby was put on to my lap, George was …

Alison and Mike Uren

I have known George since I was 12. He was my brother Andrew’s form master at WBGS, and then he became the tall imposing boyfriend of my sister Jenny. My earliest memory of him is playing the piano solo part of Liszt’s Totentanz with the WBGS orchestra – I was deeply impressed and thrilled. …

Alison Stainsby

I didn’t know George particularly well myself but my husband Martin did.  He talked with a great deal of admiration for George’s science teaching skills and musicianship. I heard stories of how they collaborated in piano playing for concerts at Watford Boys Grammar School when Martin was a schoolboy there and George his science …

Christine Walker

George was my Dad’s younger brother and was known as Wicked Uncle George – I guess that is what being an Uncle is all about. Like other family members my childhood memories revolve around family gatherings at my grandparents house in Trimley St Mary in Suffolk. We would have family meals around the dining …

William Clement Smith

My memories of George go back to my earliest childhood, in Trimley St.Mary. Long before his parents retired to live there, George and his sister, Rosamond, were frequent visitors. Being a child of the 2nd World War, with his father away on active service, it often fell to my mother and her sister, to …

Miranda Cooper

Uncle George – many happy memories of time spent with him and his family.  Two that stick with me in particular are the lovely sunday roasts he’d cook when we went round there as a family (though I was a fussy eater as a kid so I have no idea if I actually ate …

Mary Hayden

I was so sorry to hear the sad news about George, and send Jenny and family my deepest sympathy. We were fortunate at the University of Bath to work with George for some 25 years, in his capacity as Visiting Professor – with the time he spent on campus, teaching and supervising postgraduate students …
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