Shirley van der Bijl | St. David's College Old Davideans Association
We have received the sad news that previous art teacher Shirley van der Bijl passed away in her sleep on October 21st. Her son Andre contacted us to say she had so many happy memories of her working time and friends made at St David’s.
Tim Hall fondly remembers both Shirley and her husband Jean who taught French and Art at St David’s:
“I arrived at St David’s in January 1971, as a 19 year old. I was immediately made to feel that I belonged to a new family by the staff. At the heart of the community were Shirley and Jean van der Bijl. Strong, caring characters. They lived in an Old Vicarage up on the moors. I remember several occasions of wonderful hospitality in the wild homeliness of this Franglo-Welsh family. Jean taught Art and French, Shirley taught Art. The Art Room - changed little today - had a personality perfectly in harmony with theirs. Highlights of the year were when the Mostyn Shoot took over the Art Room for the Shoot Lunch. Shirley seemed to be in her element - wine, pheasants and aristocracy! There were a number of characters who made John Mayor's dream a reality and Shirley and Jean were among these. Jean passed away a number of years ago and now with the passing away of Shirley it is appropriate to express our deepest gratitude to them for their commitment, care and love for so many pupils and staff during their time at St David's. Personally, as I have reflected on their influence on my life, as a 19 year old and then onwards into my 20’s and 30’s, it was their love and hospitality for me, among those others I remember fondly at the heart of the community, that I came to so belong, that my roots grew deep!”
A memorial service for Shirley will take place Wednesday 30th October at 1.30pm at Llanrhadr, Denbigh. Our thoughts and prayers are with her children Alexis, Andre, Michelle and Marianne (who is pictured here as a baby during their teaching days at St David’s).