Hewett School to hold memorial event for founding headteacher a year after his death

Dr Walter Roy. Date: Sept 1989

Dr Walter Roy. Date: Sept 1989 - Credit: EDP Library

Friends, colleagues, and pupils of the founding headteacher of a prominent secondary school have been invited to attend a memorial event a year after his death.

Walter Roy became headteacher of Hewett Grammar School in Norwich in 1969, and then leader of the newly-formed Hewett School a year later when the grammar school merged with Lakenham Boys' and Lakenham Girls' schools.

He remained in charge of the school, in Cecil Road, for two decades, before retiring in 1990. He died, aged 87, in July last year.

Ian Hawthorn knew Dr Roy as a student in Hewett Grammar and its successor school, and later as a teacher at the school after a successful job interview in the late 1970s.

He is helping to organise the event on July 6.


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He said: 'He was a very, very strong leader, full of purpose.

'There are a lot of kids who remember him with great respect and they are very thankful for the wise guidance he gave them.

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'He was a very humane sort of bloke. He made the school what it was and he set up his administration with great staff around him.'

Dr Roy arrived in England, aged 13, a refugee from the Nazi regime in Austria, and was part of the British Intelligence during the second world war.

After the war ended, he stayed in England and trained as a teacher, working in Hertfordshire before arriving at Hewett Grammar in September 1969.

Dr Roy became a CBE in 1976 and published Teaching Under Attack in 1982, highlighting the funding cuts in the profession.

A keen traveller, Dr Roy was president and co-founder of the Sonnenberg Association, fostering links between young people of different countries.

He had three children with his first wife, Marjorie, and following her death he married Ariane in 2002.

He moved back to Austria in 2007.

Dr Roy was involved in education at regional and national level through his work on the national executive of the National Union of Teachers, Norfolk's education committee and the East Anglian Examination Board.

The Hewett School already has a theatre named after Dr Roy, but the memorial event will see a plaque unveiled to explain his part in the school's history.

The event will include speakers from the Sonnenberg Association, the NUT, a representative from the local authority from Dr Roy's time, a headteacher who was a contemporary of his, and Mr Hawthorn as a former pupil and member of staff, and music and refreshments.

All are invited to attend the event, at 2.30pm on Saturday July 6 at the Hewett School South Hall, which was formerly known as as Upper School Hall.

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