Charles, or “Charlie”, Smith was one of the longest-serving members of staff at St Edmund’s College, the Catholic public school in Hertfordshire.
He came to the college as an assistant gardener in 1946 at the age of 16, at a time when the school was largely self-sufficient in growing its own food.
Universally popular with staff and students alike, he was always cheerful, greeting everyone with a smile and a wave, whatever he was doing.
Working his way up from assistant gardener to head groundsman, the condition of the college’s sports fields, and in particular its cricket pitch, were a tribute to his efforts over many years.
He married Maria, who came to work at the college in 1957 from Italy, and they moved into college house, “The Laurels”. There, they brought up their daughter, Carla.
Mr Smith retired at the end of 2007 after nearly 62 years’ service to the college.
To mark his retirement, a special dinner was held in his honour and he was presented with an inscribed silver pocket watch and a plaque to mark 60 years of devoted service.
The Edmundian Association also organised the planting of a commemorative tree in the college grounds, which serves as a permanent reminder of Mr Smith’s dedicated service to the college.
A Requiem Mass was planned for Monday March 22 at 1.45pm, to be celebrated at the college chapel. Mr Smith will be buried in the college grounds.
On Saturday May 15 at 11am there will be a memorial service and reception at the college. If anyone wishes to attend the memorial service, please contact the college for further details.
St Edmund’s College is the oldest Catholic school in England, dating back to 1568. It was founded in Douai in that year by Cardinal Allen.