Visionary who brought Saltus to the future

  • Former Saltus headteacher: Roy Haygarth (File photograph)

    Former Saltus headteacher: Roy Haygarth (File photograph)

A former head teacher at Saltus Grammar School has died in England.

Roy Haygarth, who was 87, led Saltus between 1969 and 1979 — a crucial time in its history. Henry Ziegler, a Saltus alumnus who was the first head of the senior year created by Mr Haygarth, called him “an innovator and visionary”.

Mr Ziegler, who taught at the school from 1974 to 1979, said: “He started the senior year programme, which was an example to the rest of the island.

“A new library went up with the senior year programme underneath. That was thanks to Roy.”

Mr Haygarth also managed Saltus as the school moved from all-white into integration, Mr Ziegler added.

Jon Beard, the deputy head, said Mr Haygarth kept the school on an even keel during the “tumultuous days” of its transition from an aided to private school. Mr Beard said: “He brought a new approach — it was very orderly.

“He was keen on academic rigour and getting the best out of students.”

The new 1977 Saltus gymnasium was named after Mr Haygarth.

The Haygarth Gymnasium opened in June 1979, with the outgoing head teacher in attendance.

After Saltus, Mr Haygarth went on to become head of Liverpool College until he retired to Devon in 1992.

Mr Beard added that Mr Haygarth “watched all the sports — I remember being quite stunned because no matter what game was on, he would be there to watch”.

He said that Mr Haygarth, an English teacher, also astounded pupils with his ability to quote long passages of Shakespeare without a text.

Mr Beard said he had been hired by Mr Haygarth in 1977, and that he had decided to come to Saltus based on that interview.

Mr Beard added: “He was obviously a very intelligent man, with an ability to talk on many subjects and to quickly make one feel at ease. I respected him for his calm, fair manner, and an obvious desire to make Saltus a top school.

“He dealt with incredible changes at the school and had the respect of everyone.”

Mr Haygarth, born in Cheshire in 1931, went to Ellesmere College and later studied English at University College, Oxford.

He taught English at English public schools Cranleigh and Oundle School before he moved to Bermuda.

After his retirement in 1992, the father-of-four went back to work as head inspector for public schools in England, and finally retired in 2000.

Edmund, a son, told The Royal Gazette: “Although he did not tell me what got him into teaching, I know he genuinely believed that a teacher’s role was to find the good in each boy and make sure that it shone through, not just for the good of the boy but for the good of the community.

“He truly believed that good people only find fulfilment if they put the needs of others first. His deep Christian faith was the foundation stone for both his beliefs and actions.”

He added: “Dad was incredibly fond of Bermuda and Saltus and proud of his involvement with and achievements at Saltus, but I can hear him scolding me as I write that, because he would say the real achievements belong to his colleagues and the boys and girls who they taught and who have gone on to be good people.”

A funeral service is to be held on January 14 in Devon.

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Published Jan 5, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 5, 2019 at 8:02 am)

Visionary who brought Saltus to the future

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