Happy birthday, Mr Harvey! Veteran Clapton headteacher Everard turns 80
- Credit: Archant
He was once threatened with a knife by an angry parent – but Everard Harvey, who turns 80 next week, will no doubt be remembered rather more fondly by the vast majority of those whose children passed through his primary schools.
Everard worked his way up to headteacher at Clapton’s Northwold Primary School between 1971 and 1976, then moved on to nearby Baden Powell, where he remained at the helm until he retired in the mid-1990s.
His daughter Sharon told the Gazette he would be remembered as a “disciplinarian” but that he was kind-hearted and always had time for those who needed his help.
“He still keeps in touch with a couple of people in his primary school classes,” she said, “and they all say he’s a person who always made himself available to someone in trouble – a listening ear.”
Everard, who moved to London from Jamaica in 1959, has also taught English at the University of Adama in Ethiopia, and was acting dean of a theological college in Trinidad. He is now a custody visitor – an independent figure who visits people before they stand trial to check their welfare.
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“He always wanted to be an educator,” Sharon said. “When he first came to the country, he didn’t get into teaching straightaway. He was working on the Underground and the buses.”
Nor was it necessarily plain sailing once he achieved his dream.
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“Once, a parent came into the school and threatened him with a knife,” she said.
“There was a child with ongoing problems. That was the only occasion he feared for his life.”
Sharon, who lived opposite Hackney Downs as a youngster, never went to one of her father’s schools, but recalls him being “always busy”.
A great-grandfather of two, Everard is the youngest of 10 siblings and was married to Kathleen until her death last year.
The pair were sweethearts in Jamaica and their romance even survived the two years Everard lived in Britain on his own, before she emigrated to join him.
Teachers or pupils who remember Everard and would like to leave a message or memory for his birthday are asked to e-mail the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org