16 Mar In Remembrance of Dave Flower
We gathered together recently for a Memorial Assembly in remembrance of Dave Flower – Mr Flower to most of us – who died suddenly earlier this year. The memorial assembly was about remembering Mr Flower, so that he can still be with us even though…
We gathered together recently for a Memorial Assembly in remembrance of Dave Flower – Mr Flower to most of us – who died suddenly earlier this year. The memorial assembly was about remembering Mr Flower, so that he can still be with us even though he has gone. Mr Flower’s death was very unexpected, and was deeply shocking and saddening to the students he taught, as well as to teachers who knew him as a friend and colleague. The Memorial Assembly helped us to remember him and process some of that sadness – a great way to celebrate his life through music and speeches by people who cared about him. He would definitely have appreciated hearing David Bowie, one of his favourite musicians!
The Memorial Assembly was filled with moving tributes that helped us to remember Mr Flower as a History and Politics teacher, as well as a role-model and a kind-hearted and committed leader of the school community. Despite some emotional moments – it’s never easy to lose someone who you care about and who cares about you – the assembly was a happy affair, filled with enjoyable stories and memories about Mr. Flower and his career as a teacher. For some of us hearing these stories for the first time, it might have been surprising to learn that Mr. Flower had worked as a teacher in Sudan with very poor communities before joining Highbury Grove, where he brought great passion and a very unique style to the teaching of History and Politics for 26 years. We were joined by some members of Mr Flower’s family, who appreciated seeing such a kind and compassionate community of students being so respectful and mature during a very difficult time: many teachers including Ms Lyall afterwards commented that the mature behaviour of the entire school community made them extremely proud.
Mr Flower’s Politics A-level group in particular will miss him greatly. Mr Flower was very passionate about politics – he hated former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher almost as much as he hated Donald Trump. He was pro-Remain, meaning he felt that Brexit was a cruel way to treat those in our country who come from neighbouring European countries. He always stood up for equality and the rights of everyone – regardless of where they came from, the language that they spoke or what they wanted from life. This is what I mean when I write that he was a great role-model; any student or teacher could be very proud of saying they lived by these values, and to ask what Mr Flower would have done has become a common expression around the Humanities Department over the last few weeks.
Communities can be judged by how they respond to tragedy and sadness. Highbury Grove has responded to this tragedy by coming together, supporting each other and showing great sensitivity to one another’s feelings. We learn a lot from times like this: that it is ok to feel grief and sadness when someone passes away; that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and emotional; that it is normal to ask for help and support; that even great sadness becomes less difficult with the passage of time. Ultimately, although Mr Flower’s death has led to many tears, it has resulted in many more happy memories.