TRIBUTES have been paid to former headmaster of Caistor Grammar School, Ken Michel, who has died at the age of 92.
Mr Michel was headmaster at the school from 1957 until his retirement in 1981, including a time when the school was threatened with closure and a protest walk was organised with a walk to Lincoln.
He leaves behind four children – John 65, David 63, Paul 58, and Hilary 56 – four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His wife Vera died in 1979.
“I enjoyed my time serving as deputy head in his time.
“He was a wonderful school master who had the interest of staff and pupils on equal terms,” said Charlotte Linsell who worked as deputy head under Mr Michel.
“He was a very fair and just man; a disciplinarian and an extremely good manager who kept the boarding house going on a shoe-string throughout his reign as headmaster. It closed shortly after his retirement.”
Former pupil, Roy Schofield said: “Having spent seven years of my life at the school during the 1950s, I have always thought of Ken Michel as my headmaster for whom I had great respect and admiration.
“He steered the school through some very difficult times.
“After his retirement he chose to stay in the town and became very involved in a whole range of voluntary organisations to which he devoted a lot of time and energy.
“His knowledge of Caistor and its recent history was phenomenal. As a result of his interest in the town’s architecture and its conservation, Mr Michel became involved in the Caistor Development Trust and the Multi Use Centre, to which he provided both moral and practical support for which I shall be eternally grateful. He will be greatly missed.”
Polly Baxter, a pupil from 1957-1963, said: “In the lower years we respected Mr Michel from a distance, while later we realised he was totally committed to the school and its pupils and he engendered a sense of pride in us all.
“He was a strong disciplinarian, but was always willing to listen to individual pupils and their problems.
“Whilst speaking to him recently, Mr Michel said he always tried to create a haven of stability in the boarding house for pupils of RAF families and was keen on building strong qualities of leadership and respect for authority.”
Rosalind Boyce recalls Mr Michel always remembered his old pupils and boarder Peter Steel said: “Mr Michel was a disciplinarian but always fair, who took his role in ‘loco parentis’ very seriously.”
Born in 1919 in Bath, Mr Michel was a loyal member of the local church and a member of the Caistor branch of the Royal British Legion, organising the Poppy Appeal in Caistor and the surrounding villages for many years.