Today's offering is an article from the 2002 Special Anniversary Edition of The Victorian. It is an obituary of Raymond Tostevin, who as it happens was headmaster at Victoria College Prep when I was there. What I remember, which is not here, is that he was a short, dapper man, smartly dressed, with a curiously gnome like face, and (if I recall correctly), a propensity to smoke cigarettes. Smoking, of course, was not the great taboo that it is today. Interestingly, our nickname for him was "Toss-O", not "Toz" and I never heard anyone use that nickname for him. But as the article says, he was an extremely good head teacher.
Ray Tostevin will be remembered by generations of Jersey men and women who spent their formative years under his inspiring tutelage. Dedicating his life to learning, Mr. Tostevin, or "Toz" as he was affectionately called, taught at St. Johns, Trinity, St. Brelade's and Victoria College Preparatory School, where he was head master for 20 years.
Although never losing sight of his own humble background, Mr. Tostevin inspired thousands of young men and women to strive to release their full potential. In 1949, when he joined St. Johns school as deputy head, Mr. Tostevin successfully experimented with a method of teaching similar to today's Project Trident. He encouraged pupils to read newspapers and keep up to date with current events. They were taken cycling, taught swimming and boxing and had music lessons with the help of a radiogram. This style of teaching - one that prepared pupils for life- would only become a main stream teaching method man years later.
After a year in charge of St. Brelade's School, Mr. Tostevin became head of VCP in 1955. Some thought he did not have the correct background to be appointed head but Mr. Tostevin was determined to prove they wrong. It was as Headmaster of the prep that Ray Tostevin will be most fondly remembered
He was dedicated to the school and the values it stood for and inspired many boys to go on to great things. He re-organised the staff and established a code of principles for appointing staff that were committed to excellence. One of his appointees, John Hibbs, would succeed him as Headmaster and maintain the firm but caring atmosphere at the school.
Mr. Tostevin knew every pupils name and would always open his door to any parent. He was also a great supporter of the schools sports teams and would always be seen cheering from the sidelines. His commitment teaching- and to his school staff- was second to none.
It was as Headmaster of the prep that Ray Tostevin will be most fondly remembered He was dedicated to the school and the value it stood for and inspired many boys to go on to great things. He re-organised the staff and established a code of principles for appointing staff that were committed to excellence. One of his appointees, John Hibbs, would succeed him as Headmaster and maintain the firm but caring atmosphere at the school. Mr. Tostevin knew every pupils name and would always open his door to any parent. He was also a great supporter of the schools sports teams and would always be seen cheering from the sidelines. His commitment to teaching and to his school staff was second to none.
Raymond Henry Tostevin was born in Jersey on the 14th of March 1915. He first went to the New Street School, where his sharp intelligence soon shone through- aged 11 he attained the highest grades in the Island.
With the help of Deputy CT Le Quesne, Mr. Tostevin went to the intermediate school where he became great friends with John Lobb, and it was through Mr. Lobb that Ray met his wife to be, Peggy.
Despite being apart while Mr. Tostevin studied at St. Lukes College, Exeter, Ray and Peggy's romance blossomed and the two were married in 1937. Mr Tostevin's first teaching appointment was at St. Johns but as the Germans neared in 1940, he left the Island to join the Royal Navy. He sailed with the North Sea convoys but was later posted to Sri Lanka, where he helped to set up the Islands education department.
After the War he and his wife spent two years in the UK but they returned in 1947, with their children John and Elizabeth. Paul was born in 1949 and Andrew followed a year later. After two years at Trinity School, Mr. Tostevin joined- St. Johns School before moving on to St. Brelade's School and VCP.
Mr. Tostevin's faith in God, love of his family and passion for music and literature stayed with him to the last. He missed his wife greatly after her death two years ago. He leaves a sister, Amanda, four children, seven grandchildren, and a great grandchild, and to them the Victorian extends its sympathy.
Pour tout chonna - A Man's a man for a' that - Y'a-t-i' tchitch'un qu'la pauvreté, oblyige à baîssi la tête ? Vice, janmais l'advèrsité né fut, quand l'houmme est honnête. Pouor tout chonna et tout chon...
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