by Alex Bateman
After a period of limbo, during which time the deputy head Maurice Venn had assumed control of the School, a new Headmaster arrived in January 1983. Donald Ellery, a native Welshman, had spent the previous 16 years teaching servicemen's children in Cyprus, at St. John's School. He later became its head master, seeing the roll increase to 1800 pupils, before returning to the UK in September 1982.
He soon impressed former Old Boys with a determination of preserving the ideals that made Gayton High's predecessor so well known. He also made efforts to encourage staff, pupils and parents to take an active interest in the affairs of the Old Gaytonians Association and vice versa. Despite being well liked and respected, he was less visible then the head he had replaced, and it was around this time that some of the traditions that had prevailed since the days of Harrow County began to disappear too.
The following year, Don began to suffer with ill health, and at the end of the summer term 1985, decided to retire. Although his health later improved, he fell ill again, and sadly passed away not long after.
Don Ellery had the shortest reign of any head at the School, some two and a half years.