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Well-loved teacher and Journal editor dies

Alderney | Published:

TRIBUTES were paid this week to former teacher Eve Tetley, who died aged 78 on 22 February.

Eve Tetley, pictured centre at the art club, where she served as chairwoman from 2008 to 2009.

Mrs Tetley came to Alderney one Christmas during the late 1970s in typically free-wheeling style. She arrived in the family’s trimaran, sailed by round-the-world sailor Robin Knox-Johnston. She lived and raised her young son John on the boat on Braye Beach for months before moving into a property in the Trigale with her partner, Ossie.

Ian Walker, who was head teacher at St Anne’s School, heard from the harbour master that she taught, and asked her if she was interested in some part-time work.

At first she taught maths in the senior school and then took up a permanent role as a junior school teacher. She stayed on for more than 20 years and became a well-loved figure.

Mr Walker said the school was a richer place for having her teaching there. ‘Eve was a free spirit; a real extrovert. She could be quite outspoken but she was fun to be around. She really brought out the children’s talents, especially in art and literature – she was a great teacher.’

In addition to teaching at St Anne’s School, from January 1991 until August 1999 Eve was the Journal editor.

Director Nigel Lawrence said: ‘My association with the Journal started in 1996 when it was decided to computerise the production. As you can imagine there were many teething problems as at the time neither Eve or our office manager, Pam Mortensen, had the necessary computer skills. However, by burning the midnight oil and amid much humour, we managed to get the first computerised edition out on time. Eve soon learnt how to use the computer and things went smoothly from then on. The Journal office was a fun place to be in those days despite the permanent fog of cigarette smoke! Eve tackled everything with a sense of humour and was never known to lose her cool, despite being faced with some difficult circumstances from time to time. She was always a pleasure to work with in the office and outside of work her parties were legendary.’

Eve was also a talented artist and, after retiring, served as chairwoman of the art club from 2008-2009.

Eve’s husband, Nigel Tetley, was the first man to circumnavigate the world solo in a trimaran. He took part in the first non-stop, single-handed round-the-world yacht race in 1968 – and the race and its aftermath are the subject of a new film called The Mercy.

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Nigel sailed the Victress, a plywood trimaran that doubled as his home. He believed he was being chased by another trimaran, piloted by Donald Crowhurst, and he flogged his ailing craft so as not to lose his lead – so much so that his boat disintegrated and sank beneath him. In fact, Donald Crowhurst was faking his position reports – an incident that scandalised the yachting community.

Nigel was awarded a £1,000 consolation prize by the race organisers. By now he was fixated with properly completing a circumnavigation, so he used the money to build a new trimaran.

Nigel was never able to raise enough money to completely outfit the new boat. Though showing no outward signs of stress or depression, he went missing on 2 February 1972 and was found hanged in a tree near his home in Dover.

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