Tribute to the late A J M Wilkinson (Allan) – by Ian Corbishley
Allan Wilkinson passed away unexpectedly last Friday night, 26 March 2022.
Allan taught Mathematics at DHS for 11 years during the 1950s and 1960s. He was regarded by the boys he taught as an outstanding teacher and those who found themselves in his class group at the beginning of each year, counted themselves as lucky. The atmosphere in his classes was always one of learning. He achieved this by creating a sense of disciplined calm in an environment that was always structured and organized. Kindly as he was by nature, Allan was not a teacher to be trifled with in any way. Chaotic as some DHS classrooms were in the 60s, ‘Mathematics with Wilkinson’ was never anything but ‘work in progress’. Homework was always completed, and his outstanding results were his reward for commitment to his charges. During those years he was regarded as one of the best Mathematics teachers in the Province. My two years in his class were both enjoyable and successful.
After leaving DHS in the late 1960s, Allan went through several promotions, including becoming the second Head Master of Beachwood Boy’s High School. After a relatively short spell at Beachwood, he was promoted again to Head Master of Northlands Boy’s in 1976. Here he served the Durban North community with distinction and was rewarded with a promotion to Head Office in Pietermaritzburg at the beginning of 1985. As my predecessor as Head of Northlands/Northwood, I got to know him, and his dear wife Annette, particularly well during my tenure as Head. The Dux Trophy at Northwood School is named the A J M Wilkinson Shield in his honour. A fitting tribute to a gentleman and committed educationist.
Our condolences, and the condolences of the Class of 1964, go to Annette and family.