THE FORMER head of Dyson Perrins High School has passed away aged 79.
William John Lucas, known as Bill, died peacefully at home on Christmas Day, 20 years after taking early retirement due to ill health following 16 years as headteacher.
He was born in North London in 1934, going to school aged seven after the start of the Second World War delayed his education. After showing an aptitude for Latin and Greek, he won a place at a public school and he went on to study at Oxford.
This was deferred due to National Service and he was sent to the Royal Army Service Corps in Aldershot, selected to learn Russian and trained at London University, returning to take his final examinations in Bodmin where he met his wife Margaret.
The pair had five children – Carol, Ian, Claire, Anna and Nigel – and seven grandchildren, with Mr Lucas teaching at schools in Warwickshire, Solihull, Buckinghamshire, West Wales and finally Dyson Perrins in Malvern in 1977.
His family said: “Due to his habit of always wearing his academic gown in school he was affectionately nicknamed Batman. During his time at Dyson Perrins he introduced changes that were to lead to the school becoming one of the most successful in the country, including streaming by subject and a leadership training scheme that represented a radical rethink of the prefect system found in most schools.
“In addition to his significant achievements in education, Bill also excelled in other fields. He was an English and Welsh National Table Tennis coach and umpire and he played very successfully in local leagues up until his late seventies.
“Throughout his life Bill also wrote poetry, amassing an impressive body of work that remained, nonetheless, very personal and private. Acquaintances knew that they were accepted as friends if Bill offered to read them some of his poems and the beauty, power and humanity of his work never failed to resonate with his listeners.”