A former deputy head and headteacher on the Island has died at the age of 91.
James Gerard McGrady (Gerry) was born in Downpatrick, County Down, the son of Guardsman Charles McGrady of the Irish Guards and his wife Mary.
He spent his early life in Northern Ireland, gaining a degree in Mathematics at Queen’s University, Belfast. He qualified as a teacher and emigrated to Central Africa in 1954 to assist in a UK-led education programme. It was there that he met his wife Sheila, whom he married in 1962.
Returning to the UK the following year, Gerry taught in London and Somerset before returning to Africa for a further four years. A keen golf player, he was one of the first winners of the Captain’s Prize at Njoro golf club, an achievement that he treasured. Back in England with a full complement of four children, he taught in Leeds then on the Isle of Wight, with deputy head and headmaster positions at Nodehill Middle School and Lake Middle School. He complemented his retirement with a Master’s degree in Education and work as an OFSTED inspector.
Gerry travelled extensively in retirement, taking trips to the USA, Europe and Australia where he climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark his 70th birthday and pursued his sporting interests in swimming and golf well into his advanced years.
A deeply intellectual man, Gerry was interested in Mathematics, Science, History and Philosophy. He also took great joy in his family.
He leaves behind Sheila, siblings Helen and Vincent, children Chris, Roisin and Siobhan and six grandchildren.
A funeral mass will be held at Brentwood Cathedral in Essex on Monday 26th July at noon.