Two Great Losses to the School – Christmas 1916

I think I cannot do better to express what I feel about Miss Bagnall and Miss Jeffreys leaving the Godolphin School, than quote the following extract from my report to the Governors at the Annual Meeting:­ “After 21 years of work here, and splendid work for the School, Miss Grace Bagnall has felt that her own home needs her, and it is not for the first time I say that when a clear call from that quarter comes to any of us it probably has a right to make itself heard and obeyed. We have had her all these years, and now we must not grudge her going to her own home. But the loss is very great, whether I think of her as she has been these last three years, Second Mistress in the School, and thinking and caring about the whole work, and taking my place so ably and faithfully; or whether I think: of her as the friend and helper of all the other members of the Staff; or as a very important part of the life of St. Margaret’s or as the Form Mistress of the Upper and Lower VI.; or as teacher of History to so man),; or as one who makes each girl here, little or big, feel her responsibility with regard to punctuality and order; or, finally, as playing the Double Bass in the Orchestra. But of one thing we may be sure, that no particle of good work and purpose is ever wasted, or ever dies, and so we are not going to feel that Miss Bagnall’s good work is going to stop. That would be a very poor way of showing our gratitude to her. No, her leaving us is a call to us to try and carry on every good thing here that she has cared about. And now the School is longing to show their feelings for her in the usual way, and I know the Governors of the School will be the first to lead in a demonstration of the usual character. (Applause.)

“I have not finished yet with the sad part of my report, for we have lost another dear friend and most able helper this term. After many years here of devoted work, Miss Jeffreys has been obliged to give up her post owing to ill health. Her beautiful French has been a great asset to the School, and her interest in each girl in her Form was very great. We trust the rest she is going to have will make her quite well again, and that she will once more be able to do the teaching of French and of English which she does so well. We hope she will come back to see us next term, as she was too poorly to come and wish the School goodbye. I know that she will like to hear that we have thought of her much to-day, and send her our affectionate good wishes and great gratitude for all she has done for us.” (Applause.)