Monday, 20 September 2021

Remembering Bill, the school governor

ONE of the many anecdotes shared at the memorial service for Sir William McAlpine on Sunday came from Gregg Davies, headmaster at Shiplake College.

Sir William served as a governor of the school for 27 years and Gregg recalled his attendance at board meetings in front of hundreds of guests at the celebration of his life at Fawley Hill.

“When he came to board meetings I often thought he had fallen asleep,” Gregg said. “I thought I was getting away with things until he would saying something and be, as ever, sharp as a tack. 

“He was an incredibly challenging governor, you don’t want too many of those as a head.”

Gregg later sang I’ll Walk with God, by Mario Lanza, with pupil Robbie Rayne. Before starting, he said: “Bill was a supportive governor but he will be laughing now knowing I am going to attempt to sing.”

Meanwhile, as part of the family’s hospitality on Sunday guests were invited to enjoy a personalised bottle of champagne.

Each one had a label saying “Bill’s fizz” with a picture of Sir William on it.

It also included the Latin phrase “Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice”, which translates to “if you seek his monument, look around”.

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