Our best friends the first year we were here were Bill and Kim McNamara, an older couple from the Toronto area. Bill had retired as principal some years back, but Kim worked right up until practically the day they got on the plane. They moved into the Boulevard into a very nice apartment that we now enjoy, and immediately set to work to tranform this place for the better.
Kim and I shared a love for English, but she brought administrative competence to bear as well, writing what has become the manual for assessment here at Taylor’s. Bill was no slouch either, carrying the load in business studies and organizing volunteer activities. Bill and I shared a love for music, and he is the first person that I’ve met whose knowledge of the arcane minutiae of that era exceeded my own. Pam and Kim’s eyes would roll when we’d get going about Roy Orbison or the Moody Blues, or how Billy Preston ended up working for The Beatles.
Bill was an absolute brick when it came to building the set for the school play. There is nothing I could ask for that he wouldn’t have a solution to, and then would be willing to try. And if it didn’t work, he’d try something else. I delighted to hear of how he would handle difficult situations as a principal, always taking the shortest route between problem and solution, even if it meant bending protocol to get there.
He was a straight shooter, and I valued his advice. He was a man that you could instantly trust, and know he would never fail you. Both Pam and I did everything we could to convince the two of them to stay in Malaysia, we valued both of them so highly. But we also knew that their love for their children ran so close to their heart, that staying here was just too much for them to bear.
Bill was on his way to a baseball game yesterday when an aneurysm caused him to black out, leading to a fatal car crash. The news has stunned us all in Malaysia. Bill was not only well-respected, but well loved. We were due to meet him in just two weeks and our colleague Yen Sen has only just returned from visiting with them and our friends Ken and Susan. I almost cannot believe the news, my heart is having trouble catching up with my head. Bill, my friend, you will be sorely missed.