I might be the only member of staff who once taught Latin, but I should check with my colleagues in the Language Department just to make sure. An acquaintance with Latin makes the easy connection with the name “Felicity” and its Latin root, felicitas, meaning “happiness”. Parents take a risk naming their offspring after various virtues or abstract ideas. But in the case of our very own Felicity, the fit was harmonious, her parents were prescient.
Felicity Tallboy-Gall, our colleague and teacher in the School’s Learning Resource Department, passed away on Wednesday night. Everyone who knew her remembers her radiant smile and sparkling eyes, a reflection of the joy she took in her students and in education. I first met Felicity after the School’s Annual General meeting in her son’s first year at the School, when she stayed behind to ask some educational questions. Her own broad and deep learning was clearly the result of her constant curiosity about the world and the people in it; many times she would approach me with the phrase, “I was thinking about what you said the other day…” and begin an exchange that demonstrated she really had thought about it; she wasn’t just being polite. Another colleague of hers observed that “her approach with students came from such a loving place and her unwavering support for each was so natural and genuine.” Working with students as closely as she did, she became their guide and mentor, certainly, but also their wise and affectionate friend. To those of us who worked with her, it was clear she had a special gift to support students in ways that we did not. If we put together all the images and phrases that attach to this memorable, good-natured and intelligent woman, we might start to erect the memorial that her full and generous life deserves. Felicity lived up to her name, and spread her happy nature and lively mind among all those who knew her: colleagues, friends, family, and, most importantly, students.
You can share your thoughts and memories of Felicity on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/yoursmus.