We are sad to announce the death of William Thompson, Classics teacher and Vice President of ARLT on 12th February 2007, aged 90.
A THIRST FOR FIRSTS
William Thompson was a major figure in the classical world in this country at a time when classics was under increasing threat and new initiatives and approaches to the subject were needed. He supported the institution of JACT and the publication of CLC and through his work in teacher training was instrumental in the spread of non-
William had come to lecturing from being himself a schoolmaster, and several generations of classics teachers owe him a great debt. When supervising teaching practice he had a stunning effect on pupils with his vermilion waistcoat and bright yellow tie (William was in fact colour-
Then there is the Thompson Collection (The National Collection of Classics Textbooks and Teaching Materials) in the Brotherton Library in Leeds, a unique research facility and a monument to his foresight and belief in a future for the subject.
For many years he lived in a splendid house in Otley, Woodlands, complete with acanthus and a miniature labyrinth in the garden (reflecting another of his interests). A former President of Leeds CA, William was in 1987 made a Vice-
A thirst for firsts? William thrived on new experiences and finds and was constantly seeking and collecting them. When he did or found something for the first time “That’s my first . . .” would spring to his lips!
With his passing a chapter closes in the story of classical education in this country. But, thanks to his zeal and that of others like him, the study of the classical world will surely continue.
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