South Hampstead High School teacher’s legacy celebrated by ex-students and colleagues
- Credit: Archant
A South Hampstead High School stalwart has been celebrated more than 40 years after she retired.
Marjorie ‘Joie’ Macaulay, who passed away at the age of 99 in 2015, was a hugely inspiring English teacher at the school between 1954 and 1976.
More than 50 former students and a host of Joie’s colleagues, including former headmistress Averil Burgess, returned to the school last week to remember the life of a teacher who made it her mission to pass on her love of drama and literature to her pupils.
Literary critic and South Hampstead alumna Lara Feigel spoke at the event about how their friendship grew after she contacted Joie while a student running the school’s archive society.
Lara said: “Joie gave her full self and all her passion to every new encounter. Even in her 90s, she was excited to do something for the first time.”
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Thinking back on her school days, former student and now opera singer Susannah Self, said: “She gave me a feeling that I could achieve anything if I employed focus, discipline and hard work. She also displayed an outstanding passion for literature which was inspiring.”
South Hampstead headmistress Victoria Bingham spoke about how important alumnae are to the school’s community and about how proud the school is of its history.
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“The school’s past finds its echo in many places in our new, modern building,” she said. “You are always welcome here, we are proud of our past and of our alumnae who have gone on to do ordinary and extraordinary things.”
A bequest from Joie allowed the South Hampstead to fund a bursary place at the school and to refurbish the library, ensuring future generations will develop her love of literature.