On television in Wales (and in Welsh, of course) there is a program that corresponds roughly to an English language program called “This is your life.” On this show, famous people are hidden from an audience who have to guess who they are, whereupon there is a bit of footage about the celebrity’s life. I don’t watch game shows on television any more, but there used to be a similar show here, called “What’s my Line?”
About ten years ago, Tony Cordle, who has been on staff here for about twenty years, was secretly flown to Wales to be on this show. Because the show was in Welsh, Tony could not understand a word of it; the focus of the program was a team mate of Tony’s on the Glamorgan Cricket team – a team that in 1969 won the first class cricket championship in the UK, with Tony as their star fast bowler. Here is the entry for Tony on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Cordle
On Tuesday of this week, in the staff Common Room in the Senior School, we celebrated Tony’s seventieth birthday. The next day, Tony sang in Chapel for the Senior School – he has a lovely, velvety voice. We all sang happy birthday back to him. He has a number of roles around the place now, but his key role over the years has been partly to operate the Tuck Shop, and partly to coach cricket. At the core of his job, though, has always been to connect with kids.
We are fortunate at the school to have staff like Tony, who possesses one of the most important qualities you need in order to be successful in school life: you have to like young people a lot. He does; the students return that affection, listen to him – and even more important, talk to him. I could say similar things, or different and equally touching things about all our staff. But this was Tony’s day. Happy Birthday, Tony.