Originally from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Keith Decker arrived at Kearsney from Queens College at the beginning of 1979. Although he was appointed to the positions of Second Senior Master, Deputy Headmaster and Senior Deputy Headmaster during the course of his illustrious thirty-one years of service on the Hill, he always preferred to be at the coal face in his Mathematics classroom.
A gentle giant, with a quiet twinkle in his eye, Keith’s devotion to his pupils in the Mathematics class was legendary. Those who struggled with the subject were taken under his wing and given many hours of extra tuition for which they never had to pay a cent. Keith did not, however, always behave in a gentle manner. When pushed to the limit, this giant could breathe fire and brimstone, but these occasional outbursts were generally short-lived and Keith quickly composed himself, apologising for the flare-up.
One of his hallmarks was his way of emphasising a point by clicking his fingers and ending with what looked like a cocked pistol, with thumb up and forefinger pointed at the class. Another, of course, was his vehicle of choice, a Toyota bakkie known as the “Green Mamba”.
Keith was also an accomplished water polo and rugby coach whose dedication pride and passion never waned, even in the latter years of his career when he coached the mighty 5th XV. In addition, he took a keen interest in the Kearsney College choir, whose status and success had grown considerably under the baton of Angela S. Keith and his wife Christine accompanied the choir on no fewer than seven international tours.
Keith’s love for the classroom and the sports field continued long after his retirement at the end of 2010 and he has been a valued and popular member of staff at Waterfall College where he was Head of Mathematics.
I am sure all will join me in expressing our sincere sympathy and condolences to Christine Decker.
Go well, Decksie, and rest in peace.
Written by Dave Goldhawk (Staff, 1984 – 1988 & 1991 – 2013)