For the entire time that I was at secondary school there was one teacher who shone brighter than any other as a source of passion, inspiration, energy and wit. That man was Michael Weaver, former Woodbridge Mayor, published historian, and one of the greatest teachers you could possibly imagine. He died in December 2011, it was a tragic shock coming so soon after the death of his wife. He was described by Woodbridge headmaster Stephen Cole as a ‘giant in the profession.’
I saw him a few days after Carol Weaver passed away, he was a stunned shadow of his former self, still cracking jokes, still smiling, but there was tragedy and heartbreak in his voice. I asked him to come over for dinner, he said that he now planned to dine out forever on the offers he had received from people (he was a very popular man) but to my regret it never happened.
Mr Weaver taught me, and I was the lead in a play he wrote at school which we took to Belgium – I can still picture him driving us over in the minibus. It was a little two act play on the 1966 world cup, but I was very proud to be in it. Last year I bumped into him in the street, and out of the blue he gave me a crossbow: he was a generous and unpredictable man. He kept a German grenade on the wall of his history room, and he brought the general election alive with his giant models of John Major and Tony Blair wearing boxing gloves. His speech at the OW dinner was superb – he always spoke in public with perfect comic timing.
Another great Woodbridge teacher and historian, Mark Mitchels, has written about him in the East Anglian Daily Times today click on the picture for a full size version: