School Teachers Photograph. Mr Whelan: 1978.

When I was at school (Which wasn’t very often) this group of teachers had the pleasure of trying to teach me!!

The gentleman to the front and centre was the deputy head for over 30 years. His name was Mr Whelan. He was a retired Sargent major who had served his country during the latter years of the second world war. I remember him being a very strict task master. Nobody was allowed to put a foot out of line. He used to have the whole school march around the school grounds every morning before first lessons in perfect single file. (No wonder I chose to go hiking through the local woods when I should have been in school)

However, he was strict but fair. When he noticed me marching in the morning he would make a beeline for me, and shout “You managed to make it today Burns! My office at lunch time”. I swear to this day that he had a slight smile on his face as he walked away.

When I knocked on his office door, he would shout through the door for me to wait outside. 10 minutes later he would shout “Come” and I’d go in, shut the door behind me and hold my hands out for the leather of the strap to warm them up.

‘Six of the best’ every day I could be bothered to go to school!

It didn’t seem worth going to school, did it?!

He would always say the same thing to me before he allowed me to leave his office. “Don’t waste what you’ve got Burns, wake up”.

I never really fully understood what he meant so I can only take a guess now that I’m a fully grown man.

Strangely enough I didn’t feel any animosity towards him for punishing me, I felt a respect for him that I’ve never felt again for anyone else in authority.

He would ruffle my hair if he passed me after the bell that signalled the end of the school day and say “See you tomorrow Burns ” knowing full well that it was a lottery!

I also believe that he had a hidden respect for me.

I heard that he died a few years ago.

I wish I had known because I would have liked to have gone to his funeral to pay my respects.

28 thoughts on “School Teachers Photograph. Mr Whelan: 1978.

    1. I’m not sure. He was always firm with me but never cruel or sadistic and apart from giving me the leather across the hands he tried to encourage me to make the best of my life.
      He also gave out this tremendous aura of masculinity that made me want to grow up in a similar ilk.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I had a similar teacher experience in high school journalism. His mantra was. “The way you’re going, you’ll wind up marrying some dumb blond with big tits.”We kept in touch over the years and I spoke to him just shortly before he dies of Parkinson’s Disease. He was a great man and he got a big kick out of the fact that I have been married to an intelligent brunette for 40 years.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The only thing harder than having such a man as my vice principal in highschool was going into my daughter’s school two decades later to tear a strip out of her principal – and finding myself face to face with him again. Good times πŸ™„

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s have been enjoying your story about how you spent life in school and one teacher getting to identify you as a special one, it was really a privilege because I guess he showed you the right way because he kept on saying to you, words of encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he’s trained to handle students that way so as to create a good learning environment that at least favours every learner. I once had a teacher who hated me for one reason that is; napping in the lecture room but then, there was this other teacher, his name is Jared, he was the one who tried to look in to my problem and got a solution to it. While the other teacher continued with his hatred. I am happy that you yours was kind to you.

        Liked by 2 people

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