We are saddened to report that one of John Fisher School’s oldest former students George Brookes, sadly passed away last January at the age of 96. We send our sincere condolences to his family and ask that our whole community remember George and his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time. Mr Brookes attended The John Fisher School on the very first day it existed in 1929 as one of only twenty students and four teachers in the first year under the Headship of Canon Byrne, the founder of the School. He spent his working life as an Engineer with British Telecom and he always took an active interest in the School. George was fortunate to attend the canonisation of St John Fisher in Rome on 22nd June 1935; he also met Mussolini as part of a John Fisher student group. George spent some time with the RAF, was a deeply loyal and proud Catenian for 73 years, had a real passion for diving and was Chairman of the British Sub Aqua Club. Rumours are he continued underwater diving until his mid-80s! A dedicated clerk to Governors George ended his service for his school as a Foundation Governor. It is thanks to Mr Brookes’ work as Chair of the Premises committee that we now have a Founders block for Sixth Formers and a sports hall for all our students to enjoy and learn in.
Mr Brookes was extremely proud of the values that were instilled in the boys when he was a pupil and on his last visit; which was as recent as September 2016, he was very encouraged to hear that these values are pretty much unchanged today. A lover of Classics and Latin George was always fighting their corner to ensure these subjects remained in the school’s curriculum as he valued the unique skills they encompassed in the boys. His four sons, also John Fisher Old Boys, have written to the school with these kind words:
“It was wonderful to be able to have the Requiem Mass in the chapel of The John Fisher School, the school that he attended and was so involved in and sent each of us to. Dad would have loved that the Chapel was so full and the songs were so powerfully sung. To those who were not able to be there in person your prayers, messages of support, cards and emails were much appreciated. They were shared amongst us brothers, and still provide much encouragement to us during this sad time. A common theme emerging from your comments was of a remarkable life lived.” Chris, Mark, Simon and Paul.
“We know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down – when we die and leave these bodies – we will have a home in Heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1).