Simon Smith has decided to retire at the end of the academic year after 38 years of outstanding service to the college, for the past eleven as Second Master. He has been a wonderful support to me in my five years as Head Master, providing wise counsel, good humour and kindly reassurance throughout. My predecessors, Bill Blackshaw, John Leach and Anthony Seldon, also owe him a terrific debt of gratitude. He has served each of them with great loyalty. Above all, Simon has served this community. He has made time for colleagues and pupils in equal measure, supporting them when times are tough and admonishing them only when necessary.
He cares deeply about this place and this emotion is reciprocated. Every child in the school knows Simon and Gus, and generations of children gone by will remember with affection Simon and Darcy and Simon and Tom. The one constant is Simon and it is a constant we shall struggle to be without in the future.
We will have one more academic year to enjoy and appreciate the company of our Second Master and I know Simon would hate us to dwell on his plans for retirement. He wants this year to feel no different from last and I know he would really appreciate not being asked about his plans for retirement until he finally hangs up his brogues on 1st July 2011.