Tributes to inspirational Dereham teacher
05:57 18 September 2014
Tributes have been paid to an inspirational teacher who died on Sunday after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Tony Money, who was 56, was head of English at Neatherd High School in Dereham and served the school for 13 years.
He leaves a wife, Debbie, who described him as “just a lovely man” and said they “fitted together and complemented each other”.
Mrs Money said that her husband’s battle with cancer had been short – he was only diagnosed in February – but he had been incredibly brave. “He was far too young to go but he was surrounded by his loved ones, including his sister Jane (Cullen), at the end and had been able to see his closest friends in his last few days,” she said.
“He was very optimistic and hopeful for as long as he could be, and then he was very brave. I will miss him dreadfully.”
Mr Money loved walking, particularly in north Norfolk, and had developed a passion for photography so he could combine the two interests.
“He was interested in history,” said Mrs Money. “He always went to the Norwich Beer Festival. We shared a lot in common, books and reading. He was a lovely man.”
In a letter to parents Neatherd’s headteacher Peter Devonish said everyone at the school was “deeply affected” by Mr Money’s death but staff would try to keep the school day as normal as possible.
They were offering students the opportunity to visit a quiet room of remembrance where they could write their thoughts in a book of condolence. They would continue to offer support as and when children needed it.
He added: “Tony was a very highly respected and valued colleague who we will miss dearly.
“Testament to this has been the huge number of inquiries from ex-students since the sad news was announced.
“In his 13 years at Neatherd, as Head of English, hundreds of children have been inspired by his great love of literature and his enthusiastic teaching style which never failed to engage children of all ages – in a room with a class of children was where he was at his best.
“We will pay tribute to Tony’s life and work at Neatherd in special service of remembrance which students are organising.”
Students also wanted to pay tribute. Chloe Harris said: “Mr Money was a great teacher who used comedy to help us in our lessons. It was a great way of teaching, especially when he turned into Candy from Of Mice and Men with the best accent imaginable.”
Tatiana Grauwiler added that it was hard to put into words what he meant to his students.
“Mr Money was a unique teacher with unique teaching methods which made the class hang on his words. His style was warm and funny, treating his students as equals and friends. It is hard to walk past his room without remembering the fun lessons that were taught in there.”
Mr and Mrs Money had met while at Hull University, studying for their PGCE teaching degrees in English and Drama. Teaching jobs in Hull and then Ipswich followed for Mr Money before the couple married in 1990 and moved to Norfolk to be closer to family.
Mr Money joined the English department at the Sir John Leman High School in Beccles where he taught for many years.
Mrs Money said he particularly enjoyed the drama at the school and was a memorable Mock Turtle in a staff performance of Alice in Wonderland.
They moved to Portsmouth, where Mr Money had grown up, for him to take a job as head of English but were drawn back to Norfolk by their love of the area and the opportunity to teach in Dereham. They set up home in Gillingham, near Beccles.
nMrs Money is inviting all students, colleagues and friends, who would like to pay their respects, to attend a Requiem Mass at St Benets, Beccles at 2pm on Friday, September 26, and/or a service at 4.30pm at Earlham Crematorium.