Former headmaster, D E Turner, has died

The much respected former headmaster of Falcon, Dougal Turner, died on 31st October 2009 in South Africa.

Leading the condolences were these words from Andy Laing, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Falcon (slightly edited for the web)

I am sure that, without exception, the approximately 1500 boys who were privileged to experience the Headship of Mr Turner will be grieving right now.

DET, as he was known to all of us, was a legend in his time and will always remain so. We do not need the Turner Hall to remind us of him, and of the contribution that he and his wife Jill made to Falcon. Memories are already being recalled through dozens of emails that are coming in, and they speak of such things as ‘incredible command of the English language, unsurpassed public speaker, incredible role model, such an impact on our lives, headmaster of highest repute, quiet but firm, will always remember,’ and so on. I have always believed that the greatest test of a schoolmaster is not exam results etc. but how he is remembered by his charges. Mr Turner scored well over 100%.

Looking around Falcon today, the Turner influence is everywhere to be seen. In fact Mr & Mrs Turner gave us most of what we have today, built the foundations, steered the College through its formative years following painful birth pains, from the early sixties to the mid eighties, through Federal days to UDI, through the war years, and then through the early years of independence and the dissident era.

Nobody else could have achieved this, and that is why it left such an indelible mark on the lives of almost 1500 young men. To have achieved this and at the same time to have engendered such affection for themselves in the hearts of so many, speaks volumes about the kind of people the Turners are. They really are held in the very highest esteem.

The very sad announcement was made on Saturday morning at the annual inter-house gala. There were audible gasps from those assembled. Then we observed a minute of absolute silence around the new Bryce Hendrie swimming pool. Many of us were choked up.

And so on behalf of Old Boys and Staff, the Board of Governors, today’s staff and boys, I extend to the Turner family our very deepest and sincerest sympathy at this time. Thoughts and prayers so numerous and so sincere that they are almost tangible, flow from all corners of the globe, and we stand with the Turner family in a grief that is shared by so many.

Andy Laing
Chairman of the Board of Governors, Falcon College

Note: if old boys or staff would like to convey condolences to Mrs Turner and family, please write c/o Bryan Roff

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