Home » News » Archive news » Art Teacher Maurice Paul dies

Art Teacher Maurice Paul dies

Friday, 8 February, 2013 -- Simon McGrahan

We were advised back at the beginning of February the sad news that Maurice Paul has passed away.  Maurice had been Head of Art at Eltham College from 1978 to 1995, after which he retired to West Malling in Kent. He came back to the school on a couple of occasions for reunions but was never one for the spotlight. Maurice remained in close contact with fellow curmudgeons Julian Yarnold and Patrick Condren who both lived in the area.

Maurice, known to many as 'Papa Smurf', had continued to paint and was quite a figure in West Malling High Street where the children all thought he was Father Christmas! His funeral was held in West Malling on 21 February followed by a gathering of family and friends afterwards at the King and Queen in East Malling.

Many OEs have contacted us since learning of his death with their very happy memories of 'Papa Smurf'.   A few of the many memories sent in are below;

“I am truly saddened to hear of Maurice Paul's passing.’Papa Smurf' was by far my favourite teacher whilst I was at Eltham College and will never be forgotten.”  Paul Crowe (1992) 

“Great guy – loved O-level art with him.”  Mark Lyons (1987)

“Maurice was a very kind (and patient) teacher. I recall testing his abilities to find encouraging words of support numerous times during my short foray into the world of art.”  Matt Goad (1984)

“He was a very kind man and an inspiring art teacher. The art room was always a bit of a sanctuary from the rowdiness of a boys' school!” Philippa Gibbons nee Jackson (1990)

Maurice is pictured here with an image of Cézanne, his favourite artist, in the back ground of the Eltham College art room.