Tribute to passionate maths teacher

2015-01-09 00:00

KNOWN fondly as “Charlie Brown” by his pupils and colleagues, Seath Brown will forever be remembered as the jolly maths teacher who looked like Father Christmas.

Born in 1947 in Durban, he spent his early years around the mines of KwaZulu-Natal and lived with his father, a doctor to the mineworkers.

Schooled at Hilton College, Brown was the first boy to be awarded the white honours blazer and excelled in athletics.

After matriculating from Hilton, he went on to study mining engineering at Wits University, only to discover it was not his passion.

Brown discovered his love of teaching after securing a job as a maths teacher at Kearsney College, and immediately enrolled to study teaching at the University of Natal.

Upon graduating, he was posted to Howick High School in 1978, where he was popular among his pupils and colleagues, and was fondly given the nickname “Charlie Brown” after Charles Schulz’s popular cartoon.

Brown’s wife, Carol, said his enthusiasm and commitment to the school and his pupils was remarkable.

“He was passionate about mathematics and especially teaching it.

“Had he lived longer, he would have been a powerful force in the teaching of mathematics in the foundation phase. He believed everyone would be able to deal with any problem they encountered.”

She said Brown also had a passion for rugby and athletics, and spent many hours after school as a sports coach.

“It is probably his booming voice from the touchlines of the rugby fields for which he will be most readily remembered,” she said.

In 1989, Brown was appointed to the curriculum section of the Department of Education. He took a quick break from the department to teach maths at Michaelhouse and then returned to the department.

Former Howick High School principal and Brown’s close friend Dave Mayo said he was saddened by the loss of a good friend and enthusiastic teacher.

“He had a larger-than-life character and those who met him never forgot him.”

A tea in memory of Brown will be held at the Dave Mayo Centre, Howick High School, between 10 am and 2 pm tomorrow.

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