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Jenny Fitton and husband Ray at Keats
Jenny Fitton and husband Ray at Keats

Retirement of Jenny Fitton

It was late in 2004 when rumours began to spread that Jenny Fitton, Principal of Taunton's College and President of the OTA, might leave during the coming year. In early summer 2005 we learned officially that this was indeed the case and Jenny would be retiring from the College at the end of the Summer Term.

How nice for her, we thought, no more College worries, a home in the New Forest and more time with husband Ray. We expected Jenny to be at the Reunion Dinner, where she would make her farewell address and be able to say a personal goodbye to her many OT friends. It came as a bit of a shock to discover that she was moving to Suffolk and further would possibly not be in the country in November. The Dinner Committee and the Executive Council decided that something had to be done quickly. The outcome was a lunch on 10 August 2005 at Keats Restaurant, Ampfield, hosted by the joint committees. Fourteen members, with their partners, represented the Old Tauntonians.

Roger Parsons, Chairman of the Dinner Committee, spoke of the eight occasions on which Jenny had spoken at the Reunion Dinner and thanked her for her "state of the nation" addresses during that time. Each year she was able to report growth and continued success.

Lindy Parsons presented Jenny with a bouquet.

John Martin, Chairman of the OTA, spoke, he said, for all members of the Association. He thanked Jenny for her interest in the Association and her encouragement of its recent initiative to rekindle the links with the students. He recalled Jenny's appointment and the stir it made: "What, a woman Principal?" followed by "What's she like?". On hearing of her qualifications and experience, the question was again asked, "YES, but what's she like?", the answer to which was: "A bit of alright!" – and that was what Jenny had proved to be.

John presented Jenny with a Taunton's plaque, mounted on an oak base and engraved with the words, "...with the affection and thanks...".

Jenny thanked the Dinner Committee and the OTA for its support and friendship during her years as Principal and President.

We are sure that we speak for all Tauntonians in wishing Jenny and Ray a very happy, peaceful and long retirement.

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