Glyn Uzzel and Paul Fonck
It was with great sadness that I learnt very late via Ecolint Online of the tragic deaths of Glyn Uzzell and Paul Fonck.
They were both my dear friends. Mostly Glyn of course since we had a joint interest in Art. He had taken me under his wing when I arrived at Chataigneraie in 1976 fresh from the British public system to take charge of Art and canoeing (!) - the only way Mike Lee could fix a work permit for specialist teachers in those days.
On my own in the old school chapel with one mazout stove and with scant knowledge of the IB, I sought help from my colleagues at Ecolint. In those days they were two very separate schools, Ecolint being a useful foe especially for football matches. I was on my own as Art Teacher at Chat. However in those days the two (young!) groups of staff had considerable contact both professionally and socially and at Ecolint I found an an amazingly impressive art department. Four full time teachers: Peter Rothwell, Glyn Uzzell, Frank Dorsay, and Gwen Sepatoski, with their own technician installed in seen-better-days huts, but the students were producing imaginative dynamic works of art in painting, sculpture, and ceramics, and in those days I spent a considerable amount of time with my Ecolint colleagues.
Norman Perryman, my predecessor, moved to his role as Chief Examiner for IB Art and Glyn became my local examiner - an assignment which he undertook with ease and competence freely sharing with me his expertise and adding to my knowledge of accurate marking and assessment. Jointly with Norman, Peter Rothwell and a few colleagues from the main European International schools, we met at Atlantic College to reorganise the IB Art Exam. The 'Research Workbook' was born, which replaced the old Art History written paper. A professional 'high'. We became great friends living in the same village with a common love of cats. I was a great admirer of his work and on two occasions emptied my bank account to acquire paintings from his exhibitions in Carouge. I still think they were two of his best and treasure them greatly.
I was extremely sad when he decided to move to the Algarve but fully understood and applauded his motives. There he came into his own swiftly becoming a really happy and fulfilled artist. He often sent me catalogues from his British Council successes and various exhibitions and many times we exchanged views on art and the world in general.
I was worried - then relieved at news of his heart attack and subsequent recovery. I know he was enjoying his recent years - and of course bitterly regret that I had not sent that last letter postcard short note .... as one does always.
Glyn and Paul died as they might have chosen. Suddenly without suffering and together.
It is we who feel the loss so acutely, but Glyn left us with a rich heritage of art work and for me personally, many memories of a wonderful colleague with a sharp wit teamed with a gentle sense of humour and happy times spent both in and out of school.