Brian Williams (CR 1962-94), an appreciation.

Many OMs and others will be sad to learn of the death of Brian Williams (CR 1962-94) on 28th March. He had been undergoing treatment for Leukaemia for some time and his passing is not thought to have been connected to the Covid 19 virus.

Graduating in Chemistry at Nottingham and having completed his Teacher Training at Cambridge Brian arrived at Marlborough in 1962, after four years teaching at Abingdon School. Apart from two years on exchange in Australia (1970-72), he fulfilled many important roles at the College over some thirty years. His colleagues were quick to recognise his teaching ability and it was no surprise that he served for a period as Head of Chemistry and, for a while, led the entire Science Department.

In his younger days, Brian was an active sportsman, coaching various teams in rugby and cricket and he was Master i/c of golf for several years. He was a regular player for The Town Hockey Club and a great supporter of Common Room cricket, even taking a team of Beaks in 1969 to play in a tournament in Corfu. The team much enjoyed their accommodation at the Club Mediterannee on the island and hugely appreciated being welcomed by a flotilla of beautiful girls on water skis! There is a rumour that the cricket was enjoyable too.

Brian’s organisational skills were well known and, when the Summer School was established in 1975, he was the obvious person to be entrusted with setting up and running the Bars. He later became a Director of the Summer School and was always a popular figure with the Patrons.

In 1970 Brian decided that he needed a change and arranged an exchange to Brisbane Grammar School. Despite having given every impression of being a confirmed bachelor, he was rapidly followed ‘Down Under’ by a vivacious lady from Marlborough and they were soon married. With his new wife Doreen (known to one and all as Dottie) they quickly formed a strong partnership, which was to prove of immense value to The College on their return from Oz. Those OMs who were in Summerfield during Brian’s tenure as Housemaster(1980-92) will have many warm memories of how effective and complementary the Williams duo were…Brian firmly in charge and Dottie a great supporter of House Plays and Sport and giving the House an enormous sense of style and homeliness too. She “loved” her girls and the BCWs made Summerfield special for all its members and the envy of many beyond its doors.

Brian Williams was a fine schoolmaster and, behind a sometimes gruff exterior, there beat a heart of gold! He also possessed a good sense of humour, an absolutely essential prerequisite for a successful schoolmaster. He was a man of great integrity and wisdom and the way he cared for and looked after Dottie (who has not enjoyed the best of health, especially in recent times) for over 50 years was both touching and admirable.

OMs and many others will wish to join in expressing our deepest condolences to Dottie.