Vale John Neal

John was a key teacher and administrator at Haileybury for 40 years, commencing in 1957 at the Brighton campus, where he taught mathematics and science. Previously he had taught at South Melbourne Technical College and had been a part-time lecturer at Royal Melbourne Technical College.

By 1960 he had risen to the position of Head of Science at Haileybury, and was the Senior Chemistry teacher.  He represented independent schools on the Committee which set the curriculum for courses at Year 12 level in Victoria.

In 1963 he was given the task of re-organising the Boarding School, where he served as Senior Boarding House Master for several years. Through this time, he coached various sporting teams and was a successful Head of House.   

The principal David Bradshaw sent him to Great Britain and USA in 1970 to study latest trends in science facilities and teaching methods. This proved instrumental in the development of plans for the new Science Block at Keysborough, which today is named in his honour.

John was appointed School Vice Principal in 1983, a role he held for 14 years, and which he relinquished on his retirement in 1996. Brilliant at staffing, timetabling, and managing students, staff and parents, he was a man of clear thought, astute judgement, and direct action.

He could get to the nub of any issue, as in the 1990s when he helped guide Haileybury’s way through the intricacies of the new VCE. Principal Michael Aikman frequently acknowledged the support John provided him over this period.

John, a Life Governor of Haileybury is survived by his wife Joan, and sons Andrew (OH '77) and Douglas (OH '80.)

John passed away on March 17.

A service to remember John was held in the David Bradshaw Chapel at Haileybury Keysborough at 4.30pm on Tuesday 26 March.