Anne de Swarte (Named Hilda at birth),was born in Marylebone, England, on the 12th November 1919. As a girl, Anne attended her local primary school and then went onto to the Sacred Heart Convent Secondary School . after which attended a secretarial school and starting work.
Anne was married in 1940 and went on to have two children during the war years and one after the war. After the war years continued her education Anne gaining a Private Secretary’s Diploma in 1959 and subsequently attending Garnett college (University of London) gaining her teaching qualifications in August 1961. Then Anne began her career in teaching during which she worked various inner London schools :-
Wilton Way County Secondary School (1961 – 1963)
Risinghill Head of Commerce 1963 -1965
The Bishop Challoner Secondary Girls School (1965- July 1967)
Excelsior High School _Kingston Jamaica Head of Commerce 1967-1968
Tollington Park School Head of Commerce September 1968 -July 1971
Excelsior High School _Kingston Jamaica Head of Commerce 1975 - 1976 .
Anne was impressed by the manner in which headteacher Michael Duane carried the principles of comprehensive progressive education into the every day running of the school. She enjoyed teaching within those concepts. She fought to keep the school as envisaged by Mike a viable faculty in the face of increasing criticisms of his methodology. During her time at the school, Anne struck up a friendship with Bill Ashton and Bob Dixon, both of whom were Teachers at Risinghill. When it was finally forced to close its doors in 1965 she lent her inside knowledge and the friendship she had with the now well-known headteacher, to the writer Leila Berg who was a constant visitor with her notebook to Anne’s house. Anne was a very generous spirited person and gave of her time and expertise to Ms Berg who then published her book
Anne was sought after as a teacher and after Risinghill soon found another post at Tollington Park School not far from her home in Upper Holloway. Then in 1968 she was invited to set up a commerce and business studies faculty for the Excelsior College in Kingston Jamaica and did so with enthusiasm. This was the first of 2 visits to teach in Jamaica.
Anne completed her distinguished teaching career at South East London Technical College, SELTEC, where she was head of commerce and business studies. This prompted her move back to South London and a house near the college in Ladywell SE 13.
After retirement Anne returned again to North London where she was able to devote more time to her political activities and chaired the local Enfield and Southgate Labour Women’s Group. Anne was diagnosed with terminal cancer at Christmas 1992 and passed away in February 1993. Her last request was no flowers, money to be given to the Enfield Labour Party. Her funeral cortege was a long one and a sad day not just for those attending, but for all whose lives had been enhanced by her dedication to equality of opportunity for all.
Compiled by Risinghill Research Group from information provided by members of the De Swarte Family