Obituary: Colin Laird
PUBLISHED: 10:47 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010
COLIN LAIRD A FORMER housemaster and department head of Kings Junior School, Colin Laird died at home in Ely on October 2, aged 81. He was born in Surbiton and educated at Orwell Park School in Suffolk and Glenalmond College in Scotland. After training
A FORMER housemaster and department head of Kings Junior School, Colin Laird died at home in Ely on October 2, aged 81.
He was born in Surbiton and educated at Orwell Park School in Suffolk and Glenalmond College in Scotland.
After training as a farmer at Lackham Farm Institute in Wiltshire, followed by a spell farming in Cornwall, he felt that his future lay in education and he retrained as a teacher at Cheltenham in 1958 and began his teaching career in Kent in 1960.
He married Vivien (whom he had met in the late 1950s) in 1962, and Robin and Fiona were born in 1963 and 1964 respectively. The family moved to Ely in 1965 and Pippa was born in 1967.
Colin's first job in Ely was in the French department of King's Junior School, a department of which he later became head. He was also made house tutor and then housemaster of one of the 'Oppidans' Houses, and in 1971 became the first housemaster of Saunders House. A year later he was appointed housemaster of Canonry House and he and the family moved into the Canonry in the summer of that year. It was with regret that he gave up his housemastership in 1982 following a decision to amalgamate all the junior boy boarders into one house and it was then that he and Vivien moved into their house in Egremont Street.
In his remaining years at King's, Colin continued to teach French and English to hundreds of pupils. He also, for many years, ran the school clay pigeon shooting club.
Colin retired from the school in 1991 and it was over the next 15 years that he became known in the wider community of Ely. He was a member of the Ely District Volunteer Bureau and began manning the slide projector for the local NADFAS group. He also worked as a volunteer for the Sue Ryder home in the Old Bishop's Palace and continued to read books and newspapers for the blind until only a few months before his death.
From the early 1990s he also ran a successful bed and breakfast business.
He leaves a widow, three children and a granddaughter.
The funeral takes place at Ely Cathedral on October 23 at 2.30pm.
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