Standing together – standing tall

On the 12th of August, 2019, our beloved chef of 7 years suffered a sudden brain aneurysm and passed away.  Will Gillespie was an integral part of CIS and was known and loved by the entire community.  His death was a shock to everyone and a painful reminder of the fragility of life.  Will was a poet by nature, doing lots of writing and always a deep thinker.  He didn’t do things half-hearted, but always did his best to prepare flavourful food that would challenge and inspire our students.  He participated in our charity events, catered to the whims of a very diverse international study body, and always did it with a smile on his face.   
On the 2nd of October, CIS held a small memorial service for Will to remember and celebrate him.  We heard tributes from both staff and family members, and planted a William Pear tree near our kitchen to serve as a reminder of his legacy and his contribution to this community.  We were reminded of his love for life and deep relationships, and students were encouraged to consider the importance of friendship whenever they passed by the tree in the coming days, weeks and years.  We hope and trust that his legacy of embracing life to the full and his love of cooking and enjoying good food in good company will live on in the hearts and minds of our students.  

A poem by Will Gillespie:


Too close to call?

Life is to small

for friendship to fall.

By the way –

Side standing together;

Standing tall…

Is what our descendants

Will forever applaud.

William Jack Gillespie 25/08/74 – 12/08/19


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