Over 50 former students and colleagues of Miss Marjorie (Joie) Macaulay, Head of English at South Hampstead High School GDST, attended an event in celebration of her life on Wednesday 8th March.
Joie, who taught at the school from 1954 until her retirement in 1976, was a highly inspiring teacher who passionately passed on her love of literature and drama to her students.
She was a pupil at the then Clapham High School (now Streatham and Clapham High School) and was Head of English at Nottingham High School for 12 years before moving to South Hampstead High School. She passed away in 2015 aged 99.
Local resident, literary critic and South Hampstead alumna Lara Feigel spoke at the event about how her friendship with Joie started when she first contacted her while a student running the school’s Archive Society. Reflecting on her character, Lara said “Joie gave her full self and all her passion to every new encounter. Even in her 90s, she was excited to do something for the first time.”
Opera singer, composer and former student Susannah Self said of Macaulay: “She gave me a feeling that I could achieve anything if I employed focus, discipline and hard work. She also displayed an outstanding passion for literature which was inspiring.” More memories written by Joie’s students can be read in a specially produced booklet for the event.
Headmistress Mrs Victoria Bingham spoke about how incredibly important alumnae are to the school’s community and about how proud the school is of its history. “The school’s past finds its echo in many places in our new, modern building,” she said. “You are always welcome here, we are proud of our past and of our alumnae who have gone on to do ordinary and extraordinary things.”
Joie was able to pass on her love and passion for literature to three schools in the GDST Network.
The GDST are grateful for Joie's bequest and her legacy will fund a GDST bursary ensuring future generations will develop her love and passion for literature.
The GDST Girls First Campaign aims to open doors for girls with the gift of a GDST education, enabling an outstanding education to be offered to girls who would otherwise be denied it. Discover how a GDST bursary helped propel Dr Bethan James on to a career in astronomy by watching our bursary video.