Official opening of the W.O.H Gibbs Room

Our Academic Dean Mr Gibbs was honoured today for his 50 years of service to MAGS by having the new staffroom named after him.
Mr Gibbs, who began at MAGS in 1972 as an English and Junior French teacher, has taught for half the history of MAGS, which celebrates its Centenary this year.
Colleagues packed out the staffroom and heard speeches from Headmaster Mr Drumm, long-time colleague Mr Cave, and former students (now Deputy Principal and English/German teacher respectively) Mr Stradwick and Mr Ploeg before Mr Gibbs entertained his audience with reminiscences and insights from his 50 years of teaching.
Mr Gibbs has been a driving force in the Languages Department – establishing German for Juniors as well as overseeing the introduction of Te Reo, Chinese and Japanese in his 30 years as HOD Languages. He still teaches German to this day.
In the sporting realm, Mr Gibbs has coached or managed cricket, rugby and golf over the years.
He has been the school pianist (“the piano man” as some students know him) since the 70s, playing at assemblies and supporting musical productions.
Mr Gibbs was named Albertian of the Year 2021 for his service to the school, only the second non-alumnus (after our still-serving Archivist Mr Murphy) to earn that accolade.
Mr Gibbs is renowned for going above and beyond the call of duty for his students, whether it be seeking scholarships for them, providing extra tutorials, or always spending intervals and lunchtimes with them.
In his speech, Mr Gibbs said it was the relationships – with students and colleagues – that kept him in teaching for 50 years.
He said: “It is a cliché, but it is true to say that school keeps you young and you have the privilege of seeing the pupils’ lives through their own eyes, if you take the trouble to listen and talk to them.”
Former Headmaster Maurice Hall, who appointed Mr Gibbs 50 years ago, presented him with the plaque bearing his name that will be placed over the doors to the staffroom, and declared the W.O.H. Gibbs Room officially open.
Mr Drumm explained that the plaque had been crafted by Technology teacher Mr Bailey using demolition timber from the wing of A Block that has been rebuilt to accommodate the new staffroom and Performing Arts spaces.
You can read Mr Cave’s speech here and Mr Gibbs’ speech here