Vale Maurie Beatton and Peter Searle

Many of our old teachers have reached a venerable age and recently two of the founding staff at Watson High passed away. Maurie Beatton was there from Day One in 1965 as deputy headmaster, and he also taught Mathematics. Peter Searle arrived in 1966 as head of the English-History Department. They both filled many duties other than their teaching and administrative roles – coaching teams, organising the timetable, pastoral care, attending socials, and both played a vital part in supporting Mr Sweaney in his vision for Watson High as a school that catered to all students’ needs, abilities and interests.

Mr Beatton left the same year as we did, to continue his career as Principal of Wagga High School. Mr Searle went on to become Principal of Campbell High School. They both attended some of our reunions, and kept an interest in our doings. We last saw them together in 2009 at our big reunion at Yowani Country Club. Mr Searle and his wife joined us for the lunch in 2010, and Mr Beatton and his wife came to the latest gathering in 2011 at the Hackett Cafe. We were grateful for their ongoing interest in us, and for their role in our formative years. Each of us would have different memories, but we mourn their passing.

Peter Scott, founding Science teacher in 1965 sent this memory of his first encounter with Mr Beatton and Mr Sweaney.

Thanks for letting me know. I had fond memories of both. I met Maurie on the first day (NOT for students) but the week before. I was a new nineteen-year-old Science Teacher who was walking into the construction site, over piles of rubble and looking at unfinished buildings and lots of scaffolding.

As I trekked across this “wasteland” I met two other hapless souls also wondering across it. Both older men. “What a %@#@#22 mess this is. Who would want to open this place?” I said ” Gidday..I’m Peter Scott. the new science Teacher”.

The older man looked at me (perhaps with pity) ” Hello. I’m Errol Sweaney. the new Headmaster and this is Maurie Beatton, my Deputy”

OOPS! Mistake number one….we got on very well after that. Errol made me Acting Science Master charged with “running” that Science part with a lot of hard extra work. This was good as it set the scene for the next 44 years…doing my own thing teaching Science.

Sorry to hear about their passing as Maurie and Peter were also good friends as well as mentors for a very young teacher who learned a lot from them

Dr Peter Scott

Watson 1965-67

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