Tribute to the late Mr Victor Peskett – Principal 1959-1978

peskett 

The school community was saddened to hear of the death of Mr Peskett, former Principal of RBAI, who died on the 31st March 2012. At a meeting of the Board of Governors on 23rd January,1959, Mr. Stanley Victor Peskett, M.A., aged forty, was appointed to succeed Mr. Grummitt as Principal, from September 1959. The new Principal had been educated at Whitgift School, Croyden, and at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he had read English. He had a distinguished war record, having commanded the 1st Royal Marines Armoured Support Regiment during the Normandy landings in June 1944. He had also seen service in India and South-East Asia, and had retired from the army with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. On his appointment to Inst, he was Senior English Master and Senior Housemaster at the Leys School, Cambridge.

Stanley Peskett’s period as Principal (1959-1978), coincided with the 150th Anniversary celebrations, including a Royal Visit in May 1960, an enormous building programme over a five year period (1960-1965), important changes to the school curriculum and to the public examinations system. In addition, the strengthening campaign in favour of comprehensive education had to countered, and voluntary school Principals were expected to take the initiative in this. At the same time, S. V. Peskett lead the school at a time of increasing civil disturbance after 1968 and, in particular, in the face of the serious terrorist bombing campaign in the city centre of Belfast in the 1970s which, inevitably, seriously impacted on the life of the school.

The RBAI community pass on their condolences to Mrs Peskett and family.

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