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News & Blogs: In Memoriam

Stella Best: calm, caring and dedicated

jeudi 13 octobre 2016   (2 Comments)
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Stella BestStella Best, who taught at Ecolint from 1962 until 1990, died on Friday 7 October 2016. She had been living in Cranleigh, England. In the words of Colin Tracey, a former student who had been visiting her regularly, "she passed away peacefully, with dignity and, thankfully, pain free".

Phil Thomas, a former teacher who went on to hold many senior positions in the Foundation, including Acting Director General, wrote the following words about Stella:

"Stella Best joined the LGB campus in 1962 and spent most of her career as a teacher with classes 4 and 5. I remember her as a dedicated, highly professional educator, much loved by her pupils and well respected by their parents for her caring attitude. She always seemed in control, exuding a calm yet stimulating atmosphere in the classroom; yet she also possessed a great sense of humour.

Her other talents included a gift for loom weaving and for music. She had a lovely soprano voice and joined us in the Secondary school as a vocalist  for several operatic productions under the guidance of Bill Lugg. These included several Gilbert and Sullivan operas and Smetana's The Bartered Bride (renamed by us "The Battered Bride" by the time we had finished with it!).
Stella ended her devoted service to the Foundation by specialising in helping students with learning difficulties at the Pregny campus.

She was an exemplary person who loyally served the the school community over 28 years."

 

We also received a note from the former President of the United Nations School in Geneva, Cyril Ritchie:

"I knew Stella Best over several decades in her role of closest friend and confidante of the late Joyce Wakenshaw. As the President of the then United Nations School, and subsequently Secretary of the Foundation Board, I had thousands of hours of discussion with Joyce: Stella was many times present, wafting her calm spirit over both of us.

Thus while I did not know Stella in her teaching function, I knew – or rather I sensed – that someone as caring, as warm, as sensitive as Stella must have been a wonderful person to have in a classroom.

The Foundation can be proud to have had as teachers over the years persons with Stella's human qualities. Stella can certainly Rest In Peace."

 

As recently as 2015, Miss Best (as she was known to generations of alumni) had been in regular contact with the Alumni Office. She was determined to pass on her treasured collection of class photographs from her time at La Grande Boissière and spent long hours grappling with her computer and scanner to get the job done. (The photos she sent can be found in the Photo Galleries section of this website – sign-in required.)

Another recent labour of love into which she put considerable time and energy was compiling a commemorative booklet containing artwork that was created by students to mark the opening of the then new Primary School building (now the Middle School) in 1964. The resulting publication is today kept in the Middle School at LGB.

The image above is cropped from Stella's 1980-81 Year 5 Class Photo.

 


Stella's funeral will take place on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at Guildford Crematorium, England. Anyone planning to attend is asked to send an email to: colintracey6[at]btinternet.com

Stella has requested that donations for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Farnham, are sent to: Cranleigh Funeral Service, Sussex House, Ewhurst Road, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 7AE

Comments...

Quentin Byrne-Sutton says...
Posted jeudi 17 novembre 2016
Miss Best, as we called her, was my fourth grade teacher at ecolint nearly 50 years ago! I was clearly in love with her, as one should be with one's 4th grade teacher. She was so gentle and sweet and pretty to my young eyes. How much good a person of such kind can do for so many years. Amazing! Thank you Miss Best, you were a well-named angel!
Johan E. Hellberg says...
Posted jeudi 3 novembre 2016
I was extremely sorry to hear of the news of Stella Best's leaving us. I recently had to depart from my mother and it seems I've reached the age when I need to see Death as a part of adult Life. I was relieved to hear that she left with dignity and in Peace. This is what my mother did as well. The experience of her Death taught me to see the passage from Life to Death as a passage to another to us unknown dimension imbued with light and not with darkness. As a kind of rebirth rather than as the end of Life. We know very Little of what awaits us. I trust Stella experienced the same serene passage into that dimension awaiting us all. Nevertheless I mourn her departure from this World. I am so glad, however, that I saw her during the Reunion of 1994 and that I could see how pleased she was of my choice to become a teacher. She was indeed a creative person and most instrumental in encouraging creativity in her students. She will be sadly missed by us all.

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