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Tributes to former teacher and rugby player

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Alan Leigh, a schoolteacher and former principal at Heron Bay and Port Royal primary schools, has died, aged 84.

Neville Tyrrell, Warwick South Central MP, offered condolences to Mr Leigh's family and his wife, Jennifer, yesterday in Parliament.

Mr Leigh, who lived in Warwick, was an avid rugby fan, and one of the founding members of the Teachers Rugby Club in 1961.

Along with Gabriel Rodrigues, Alwyn McKittrick, Ted Pearson and Carey Maddern, he pulled together a team at first made up of expatriate teachers.

Mr Leigh refereed for many years and became a major influence on the sport's development on the island.

He was also a former president and general secretary for the Association of School Principals.

Mr Leigh was a strong supporter of parents, especially men, being involved in the education of their children.

Mr Leigh told The Royal Gazette when he retired in 1998: “We as a society have gotten to thinking an awful lot about the material things, like a TV in every room.

“That's not as important as sitting with a child and talking or reading to each other.”

Mr Leigh, originally from Britain, started teaching in 1957.

His Bermuda career began in 1960 at the Gilbert Institute.

Mr Leigh returned to the island after a stint back home and at first worked at Northlands Primary School.

But he had his sights set on becoming a principal.

He worked and trained in Kingston, Ontario, and was appointed head teacher at Port Royal in 1979.

He simultaneously headed Heron Bay for two years before settling exclusively at Heron Bay, where he remained until retirement.

Daughter Jayne Leigh Kendall called him her “full-time teacher, mentor, protector, caregiver and friend” in an online tribute.

She said her father was a disciplinarian who could put youngsters in their place with “the look”, but proud of his pupils and the adults they became.

Remembered fondly: Alan Leigh, a popular educator and former principal at Port Royal and Heron Bay (File photograph)
Alan Leigh, a popular educator and former principal at Port Royal and Heron Bay (File photograph)

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Published March 17, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated March 17, 2018 at 2:31 pm)

Tributes to former teacher and rugby player

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