Warm tribute paid to John Vannet

Forfar Academy deputy head teacher John Vannet.
Forfar Academy deputy head teacher John Vannet.

The Forfar Academy school community is in mourning following the sudden death of Depute Head Teacher Mr John Vannet.

A highly respected and committed member of staff, he died suddenly in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee on Monday morning after a short illness.

Only last Thursday he celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends.

A former pupil of the High School of Dundee, where he was Boys’ Captain at the same time as his future wife, Val, was Girls’ Captain at the school where she is Depute Rector, John played an active role in the Former Pupils’ Association and was Chairman of this group last year. He was intensely proud of the school, where many of the values he brought to his role as a teacher were forged.

John studied Geography at Aberdeen University and began his teaching career in the 70s at Plimpton Grammar School in Devon, before taking up a position as a teacher of Geography at Carnoustie High School in 1977. He was promoted to Head of Geography at Glenwood High School in Glenrothes, before moving to a similar post at Morgan Academy, where he went on to be appointed Assistant Rector. In June 1993 he was appointed to Forfar Academy, where he was Depute Rector.

During his time at Forfar Academy John was involved in every aspect of leading and managing the school, though it was true to say that he was never happier than when engaging with pupils and continuing his teaching of Geography – the subject that was his passion.

John was also a key member of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers and a great advocate for the subject.

However, as Depute Head in Forfar he touched the lives of everyone and the school has been inundated with messages of condolence and fond memories of a colleague, a friend and a wonderfully warm human being - a proper gentleman.

Head Teacher, Mr Melvyn Lynch, said: “The words Forfar Academy and John Vannet go hand in hand, they are forever interwoven. When I think of the school I think of John Vannet, who contributed so much to the school community and the people he served. Today is a sad day for all of us. We have lost a valued teacher, a true friend and a kind companion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Val, his children Jilly and Peter and the rest of the family at this saddest of times. John is written into the history of Forfar Academy and the town and we will miss him so very much.”

Assemblies took place in the school on Tuesday and a Minute’s Silence was observed. A Book of Condolence will be available in the school foyer from today (Wednesday) for pupils, parents and friends to send their messages of support and share their memories with the family.

At the time of going to press a funeral service has been organised for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3 at Dundee Parish Church, St. Mary’s and thereafter to Dundee Crematorium for the Service of Committal.