By School Community

16 January 2024 - 10:39

At the heart of our history lies a pivotal chapter that has shaped the very essence of what the British Council School is today. We want to dedicate this blog post to a visionary, a pioneer whose dedication and passion have left an indelible mark on the foundations of our institution; our founder Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie.

Forging bounds between cultures:

Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie, the first British Council Representative in Spain, not fulfilled diplomatic roles but also served as a special lecturer in English Literature at Madrid University. His connection with Spanish culture went beyond official duty; it was a true vocation that contributed to forging lasting ties between two worlds.

A tapestry of honours and commitments:

Our dear founder received notable distinctions, including being knighted in the Order of Alfonso XII, named Chevalier de la Légion d´Honneur, and appointed commander of the Order of Isabel la Católica. These honours reflected not only his professional achievements but also his deep understanding of the cultural complexities that enrich the relationship between Great Britain and Spain.

An educator and literary artisan:

Beyond his diplomatic roles, Starkie excelled as an author and translator, contributing to mutual understanding through literature. His works reflect his passion for Spain´s rich history and traditions, enlightening our understanding and appreciation for this land.

The legacy in stone and mind:

In 1940, Starkie laid the foundations of our beloved School, facing challenges and difficulties with courage. Alongside Mrs. Starkie, he oversaw expansions in 1944 from Méndez Núñez to Diego de Leon and in 1952 to the building in Martínez Campos. This commitment to education become rooted in the DNA of our institution, becoming the living legacy of our founder.

Celebrating the enduring connection:

Today, the British Council School is grateful for Walter’s work and dedication not only as a distinguished historical figure but as the architect of our enduring connections between nations. His vision resonates in every corner of our School, reminding us of the importance of cultural understanding and the pursuit of knowledge.

In this tribute, we renew our commitment to continue cultivating Starkie´s vision, celebrating diversity and fostering an environment where lasting connections are formed and flourish.