Murray Polglase

Remembering Murray

Murray Polglase
Memorial at ISPP (23 January 2021)
Murray Polglase

This is a place to remember and celebrate the life and achievements of our principal, friend and colleague, Mr Murray Polglase. Please share your stories, memories and thoughts, so we can all see what a positive impact he had on all those around him.

If you would like to share photographs to add to our gallery, then please submit them using the Get in touch link and we will add them to the gallery. If you would like to read the speech made at Murray’s funeral ceremony, it is linked here

In the future, we will make these messages and stories into a book for Murray’s family, and we know they will cherish the stories, experiences and connections of others with their husband and father.

Share your memories, thoughts and stories

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Gareth Jones wrote on March 29, 2021 at 9:43 pm
Like many, it has taken some time for me to be able to come back and share my memories of Murray, sending my thoughts and condolences to Sam, Sophie and Zach. Having only known Murray for a relatively short period of time since joining ISPP in August 2019. When I read down through many of the reflections, I was not surprised to see so many familiar thoughts that I recognise from my own professional and personal relationship with Murray. Those thoughts and reflections are a true testament to his authenticity as an educator, a colleague, a person, a husband, father and friend. Fundamentally, Murray was the real deal. This authenticity came naturally to him and was never, ever contrived. I felt humbled to speak at Murray’s service, and here I wanted to provide a memory of Murray that sums up so many facets of his character.

In January 2020, Murray (Secondary Principal), Liz (Elementary Principal), and I were off recruiting at a fair in Bangkok. I was conducting second teacher interviews, and Murray & Liz were conducting initial ones. In meeting candidates over a very busy weekend, Murray was always honest and transparent about what ISPP was like as a school and a place to work. He was kind and thoughtful in responding to candidates and never dismissive. Whilst Murray knew he was the leader of a very good secondary school, he was always humble and noted there were many things to work on and develop and that he was seeking to recruit people who would be a great fit, not just great teachers. We came away from that recruitment fair with 100% of the first offers accepted to ISPP from candidates with highly competitive offers from other international schools. Murray’s ability to make almost immediate connections with people from all walks of life was part of who he was. Whether it be a nervous teacher in an interview situation or an anxious student, parent or faculty member, Murray was able to put you at ease and lower rather than raise tension through his empathy in any given situation. I believe this is what came to the fore when also helping students and why Murray was able to make such a strong connection with our scholarship students and the development of the programme.

So on with the memory… During that weekend also, I had time to continue our conversations over a snack, sandwich, drink or dinner. Whilst being very connected in the region and being able to take the opportunity to meet up with former colleagues, Murray was always thoughtful to invite both Liz and me, making sure that we were not on our own unless we wanted to be. When we did have dinners together, the discussions on educational and life matters were substantial. Murray had the ability to agree without being obsequious and disagree without rancour, a rare skill and disposition but one that made for both convivial conversation and debate.

The last day, or should I say evening of the recruitment fair… we had all worked hard, put our offers out, and were waiting to see whether we would get any acceptances – an unnerving time – what will the outcome be? We decided on a quiet night with dinner at the hotel and then bed. A shout then went out for one game of pool across the road, and the next few hours were spent shooting the breeze and the occasional pool ball with so much laughter (I will hopefully be able to upload a photo). I remember going to bed and waking up tired, but with a smile. I am jealous in a way for those who have known Murray for a longer time and knew him more closely than I was able to do in the relatively short time that we had together. However, I want to take solace in the fact that Murray made an incredible impression on me, and to so many more, as someone who really made a difference. We miss you, but we are better people for having known you. Thank you Murray.
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Remembering Murray