The Maltonian Web

In Memoriam

Alexander Simeon Joannidis

1937 - 2012

Memorial Trophy

Alex Joannidis was head of English at Malton Grammar School, and then Malton School, for fourteen years.

He died in Greece, his country of birth, in 2012. In October 2014 the School received a letter from his solicitor to say that he left a bequest of £3000 to the English department at Malton School.

The department is currently deciding how best to use this generous boost to funds, but it was decided that a prize in memory of Alex be set up, and a memorial trophy was commisioned. I duly made the trophy, pictured here, and it will be awarded for the first time at the 2015 Celebration Evening, for Creative Writing. This will give the English department a year to consider the best creative writing the students produce during the year.

The trophy is turned from local oak, with acacia used for the book on the lectern.

Alex was educated at Victoria School in Alexandria, Egypt. A schoolfriend of his, M Rafik, sent me three school photographs of him - two of Barker House in 1953 and 1954, and one as a prefect in 1953-4, with Alex clearly numbered and identified, along with his classmates.

M Rafik also sent me a short history of this British School, as published in the Egyptian Mail of 1996, entitled "Victoria College 1902 - 1956 - Educating the Elite". This is also available here as a pdf document.

Alexander Simeon (Alex) Joannidis : Memorial

First published  Wednesday 27 June 2012 in Ryedale news by Karen Darley

A MEMORIAL service will be held next week for a former teacher at Malton School

Alex Joannidis, who lived in Pickering, died on March 17 in Greece, aged 75.

A dual Greek and British national, Mr Joannidis was brought up in Alexandria, Egypt, and studied English at university there.

He joined Malton School as head of English when it was the Grammar School, and continued when it became Malton School in 1971. He remained as head of English until retiring in 1992.

Former head of geography John Dunstan, said: "Mr Joannidis was a well-respected teacher held in high regard by many of his former students, especially after they left school and realised more fully the education they had been given. He remained in contact with many of his former students after they had left school."

Mr Dunstan said that throughout his time at Malton School, at the end of each summer term, Mr Joannidis would take a group of students to Greece for an educational visit and holiday.

"While he was teaching he trained and worked as a Samaritan and worked for many years in the area. He gave talks to local groups about his work and used them to raise awareness and funds for the Samaritans," he said.

"After retiring, he trained as a reader in the Church of England and ministered in this role at St Michael’s Church in Malton until a few years ago, when his deteriorating health made it too difficult."

Former deputy headteacher Philip Mason said Mr Joannidis was a larger than life character.

He said: "It seemed strange to some that a Greek national was the head of English but he was very passionate about his subject.

“He also had strong beliefs and loved his home country of Greece."

Steve Fearnley, current deputy head at Malton School, said although he never taught with Mr Joannidis, he remembered him as a character and an extrovert.

"When I bumped into him around Pickering we usually ended up talking about gardening,"; he said.

The memorial service will be held at St Michael's Church, Malton on Tuesday, July 3 at 2pm, followed by a buffet at the Old Lodge Hotel.

All friends, former colleagues and pupils are welcome to attend.

Obituary published in the Yorkshire Post on 21 June 2012:

JOANNIDIS Alexander Simeon (Alex) Of Pickering, North Yorkshire, former teacher at Malton School, died in Greece 17th March 2012 aged 75 years. A memorial service will take place at St Michael's Church, Malton, on Thursday 3rd July at 2pm followed by a buffet at The Old Lodge Hotel, Malton. All friends, former colleagues and pupils welcome. Enquires to Thorpe & Co Solicitors, 17 Valley Bridge Parade, Scarborough, tel. 01723 364321, ref FJW/EM.