EARL NELSON – GOVERNORS PAST

EARL NELSON (Trustee for 60 years. Chairman of Governing Body, 1882-1913).
[Great nephew of the Admiral.]
The first time I met Lord Nelson was at the meeting of Governors at the Church House in November 1889, when I went before them for an interview. I well remember his cheery, encouraging manner of asking and answering ques¬tions. From that day forward he was a friend to be depended upon, who was never too busy to give not only his time but his whole-hearted interest to any point con¬cerning the school, as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered.
Before a Governors’ meeting his step could be heard stumping through the hall to my door, then would follow a bang on the door and he would come in and give a kind, jolly smile, and settle down by my side and shout out his remarks as if I were the whole Church Congress; then he would go off to meet the other Governors in the dining-room. As chairman, with his habit of cheery shouting, I think he was sometimes found not to be a very good listener, but on the whole all went very happily. His driving power with the Board of Education, where he often presented himself on behalf of the school, did excellent service. He was always the same man and always the same character¬istics appeared. He was at his best when he spoke to the whole school every autumn, after giving away the certifi¬cates and listening to my Annual Report of the school. First, he would say a few words commending with fatherly warmth anything that had struck him as good, and then he would, with great simplicity and directness and sometimes a flash of fire, appeal to the school to do their best and go forward in the strength of their religion. The youngest child could not mistake his meaning, and I believe everybody present was impressed by the straight goodness of the words which rang out from the lips and the heart of the old man, who stood bent forward leaning on his stick and looking at the children with great earnestness. Then followed tremendous applause which showed the affection and pride felt, as some looked up at him from the body of the hall and others down at him from the gallery.

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