Wal Gets Stuck into All Aspects of Community Life; COMMUNITY CHAMPION

Article excerpt

FORMER school principal Wal Smith, of Tweed Heads, has enjoyed a wide range of interests during his lifetime from sport to involvement in service clubs to travel and weather-watching.

Mr Smith was born in Sydney, educated at Sydney Tech High and Tamworth High School, where he was elected school captain.

He worked for several years surveying in Sydney and cost accounting in Orange prior to attending Newcastle Teachers College in 1950.

His first posting was to the picturesque Robertson Primary School and then to the one-teacher school at Three Peaks near Condobolin.

His next move in 1956 was as a special teacher at Mullumbimby High School, where he stayed for nine years.

During this time he studied for a degree, being appointed to Corrimal as Master of Social Science.

Next move was as deputy principal at Henry Lawson High School at Grenfell for almost five years before taking up the position of principal at Tweed River High School from 1977 which he held until 1988 - he still holds the record for that school's longest-serving principal.

He and wife Annette spent six weeks teaching in Shanghai China.

Since retiring in 1988, the Smiths have travelled extensively. …