Michael William Cross
|Tenure on the Post||1974 - 1976|
|Preceded By||R.S. James|
|Succeeded By||Hari Dang|
|Birth||7th April, 1938|
|Death||1st September, 2011 (Aged 73)|
|In Memory||Cross Dorm|
Michael William Cross was the rector of St. Paul's School for only three years. He was a strict disciplinarian who played hard & worked harder. Being a singer, instrumentalist, actor & director, he came into his own during his stint at school with his direction of the school play The Royal Hunt of The Sun in 1976. It is said to be perhaps the finest School play ever produced.
Born in Stoke-On-Trent, Straffordshire, England, Michael William Cross was educated at Hanley High School (Shrewsbury). He once claimed that his early ambition to be a surgeon was destroyed by an unsympathetic Biology Master at Shrewsbury! Michael read Chemistry at Oxford & graduated in 1962. After leaving Oxford he taught at Ampleforth for 4 years, returning to his Alma Mater Shrewsbury to teach Chemistry, Physics & Divinity for the next 7 years. He had also served in the British Royal Navy during the Icelandic Cold Wars and achieved the rank of Lt. Commander. He was reputed to be an excellent Shot whilst in the Navy. Returning to Oxford once more, he completed his Master's Degree in 1973; just in time to apply for the Rectorship of St. Paul's.At Darjeeling, during school holidays he led hiking and mountain treks including climbing above the 18,000 foot level of Mount Everest, accompanied by Tenzing Norgay, first man to climb it with Sir Edmund Hillary.
His love of education had led him to teaching and after St. Paul's, took him to other Headmaster positions throughout the world, including Uruguay, El Salvador, Colombia and the United Arab Emirates.
He led a full and rich life bolstered by his superb intellect and quick wit. Quite the raconteur, Michael was warm, witty, worldly and wise.
After retirement, Michael settled in Bedford, Virginia (USA), giving unselfishly his time and talents in supporting his Church, St. John’s Episcopal, and programs that enriched the lives of others in the community around him.
Admitted to hospital for several weeks and then rehab due to heart failure, he passed away on 1st September, 2011, aged 73. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carol Ochoa Cross. His ashes were interred in the Church of St. John's Columbarium. The Service was beautiful and according to the instructions he had prepared in 2005.