MR. C. W. GOFFIN – an appreciation - as recorded in 'The Dorkinian' of 1953

 

Charlie Goffin, as we all affectionately call him, will be remembered as a very able teacher, a great sportsman, and, above all, as a fine man. He joined the Staff of the Old High School for Boys in the Autumn Term, 1919, coming from Wymondham, Norfolk, where his excellent qualities were as much appreciated as they afterwards were here. He taught chiefly Mathematics at first, but later became responsible for the Geography of the School, after he had decided to specialise in the teaching of that subject. He also took all the Physical Training, and for some years at the old School he was in charge of the singing, during which time he organised an excellent series of annual School Concerts. The Games and Athletic Sports were always a great interest of his, and the reputation of the School in this direction was largely due to his skill and enthusiasm, while the Cadet Corps prospered largely because of his knowledge, experience and organising ability. In 1934 he succeeded Mr. N. Squires as second master, and his influence on the life of the School became even more marked.

One never had to point out to Charlie Goffin a job that needed doing—he saw it for himself, and did it. He was ever one of the faithful, never counting the costt to himself in time and effort, depend­able in all circumstances, true to all the loyalties of a School—to his colleagues, to the children and to the School itself—and with it all, he had a great natural modesty and sincerity.

None of us will ever forget our old friend, and we shall cherish the hope that we shall see him again on many occasions. We wish him many' happy years of retirement.

A. J. R.

Through Mr. Goffin's retirement at the end of this term, the School will lose its last remaining personal link with the Boys' High School. He will then have served both Schools for a period of thirty-four years.

In almost every school of note, there is some member of the staff, a teacher of marked individuality, whose name is identified insepar­ably with that of the school. He is the doyen of the Staff, the man on whom the Head relies, the man who shapes the whispers of the throne. Boys, especially Old Boys, look up to him as the custodian of the school tradition; new masters are taught by him how to handle the ropes. Heads come and go, but he remains.

Such has been Mr. Goffin's role in this School and, as such, he has been in these days of rapid change eminently the man to preserve the continuity of the two Schools, turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.

Of his own choice he has remained a class teacher, and an inspiring one. In all his work, as a teacher of Geography, in Football and Athletics, he set himself a high standard and demanded such from his pupils. He worked hard himself, he expected his pupils to work hard, and he taught them the value and importance of discipline. A man of Christian principles he showed in all his relationships a strong sense of justice and fair play, and had a short way with humbug and the less pleasant of sschoolboy sins.

With the passing years he seemed to acquire more energy and we shall remember his last term at the School as one of almost ceaseless activity. It is impossible to associate Mr. Goffin with leisure and retirement, and it is certain that he will continue to devote him­self to good causes in this district.

He has earned the deep respect of Govern& and parents, of his colleagues in the Common Rooms of countless Old Boys and Girls, and of all present pupils of the School.

His departure from the School he has served so nobly will leave a gap that will not easily be filled, and his influence will live within the School even when the memory oof his good work will have passed with those who knew him.

He takes with him into an honourable retirement our gratitude and affection and we shall think of him, in Milton's words, as a man who performed his duty "justly, skilfully and magnanimously".

T. J.