Tuesday 31st Jan 2023

John (Jock) Goodall – Staff 59 – 89

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The funeral service of Jock Goodall will take place on Thursday 23rd February 2023, at 11am in St Mary’s Church,  Horsham, RH12 1HE.   

Submitted by Helen Goodall

Jock Goodall was born in 1928 to parents who ran a small school in Kenley. His father, having fought in WWI and to avoid the bombing of WWII decided to move his school to Exmoor, a place Jock retained great affection for throughout his life.

He attended Marlborough School where he developed an enthusiasm for rugby, followed by military service and a degree at Emmanuel College Cambridge. He initially pursued a career in industry in Birmingham but found it intensely uninspiring so when the opportunity to teach in Ghana was presented he jumped at the chance, using the 3-week sea voyage to swat up on his physics and embark on a career in teaching.

He embraced every aspect of school life in Ghana building strong relationships that have continued throughout his life and down generations. He also took the opportunity to travel and explore Ghana and Nigeria, with many an adventure fondly reminisced over the years.

On returning from Africa, and after a brief interlude at a girls’ school, he took the post of Physics teacher at Christ’s Hospital in 1959 and remained there until his retirement in 1989.

Whilst Housemaster of Barnes B he married Rachel who gently became involved, notably in the production of Christopher Columbus, perhaps the pinnacle of his many house plays, where I believe he created a water fountain on the stage.  As a venture scout leader, his ingenuity was applied to more functional aspects of water provision and he led many expeditions to the French Alps, Exmoor and the Pyrenees.

His activities since retirement have included painting beautiful watercolours, helping to build a school in India, serving as Southwater Church Warden and in later years applying his creativity and love of invention to the most elaborate water conveyancing contraptions any grandchild could dream of.  He has retained connections with the school as a Governor, and loved the opportunity this has afforded him to visit the odd rugby match or concert and have a chat on the sideline.

I have loved reading some of the memories shared by former students, including his tales of Africa, his patient physics tuition and his occasional exasperation which once lead to him launching a cricket ball over the boundary rope and through the windscreen of a certain Geography teacher’s car. Overwhelmingly though, comments and reflections were of a kind, caring and gentle man from students and colleagues alike.

Although his memory had started to fail him in recent years he never lost his sharp wit, curiosity and ability to engage with the people around him, particularly his grandchildren, often causing great hilarity and chuckles around the dinner table.

Though often self-effacing, he had great wisdom and would be frank, honest and open about his opinions. One of the last things I remember him saying to me was ‘If you’ve got something to say to someone, just say it’.

He will be greatly missed and always loved by his wife Rachel, children Helen and Sophie and 6 grandchildren.

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