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Headmaster’s Blog – 7 April

April 10, 2014

It has taken me a calendar month to be able to write this blog. As all who know Ballard well will be aware, my PA and the School Registrar, Mrs Caroline Gray, collapsed suddenly whilst in school on Friday, 7th March. She died the next day with her family at her side without regaining consciousness.

Caroline was a ray of sunshine – certainly someone about whom I never heard a harsh word spoken – and she was very much the ‘face of the school’, not least for visitors and prospective parents. Her final written comment on the afternoon of her collapse was on an email attachment to staff which contained the weekly calendar: ‘enjoy the sunshine’. This was so typical of Caroline and summed her up perfectly.

The reason I wanted to write about Caroline briefly in this blog was not simply to pay credit to her – the cards, flowers, wonderful thanksgiving service at the Priory and reception back at school bore much testimony to this – but also so I could record the ‘silver lining’. Her death was a shock and is a tragedy but I know Caroline would have been so proud of the way the Ballard family – pupils, staff, parents and friends – rallied round and supported each other as well as her own family. Times of crisis can drive people apart and cause rifts but Caroline’s passing had the opposite effect. Several parents commented how their own gripes and concerns were simply trivial when placed alongside what had happened so suddenly. Others went on to say that it made them appreciate all the more the time we have with loved ones.

So, I simply conclude by urging all of us to ‘enjoy the sunshine’ and to look for ways in which we, too, can bring warmth, happiness and vitality into the lives of others.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

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