The outdoor learning community and the Institute has been and continues to be shaped by passionate committed professionals who come from an amazing variety of back grounds that together provide the rich and solid base we now work from. Bertie Everard’s passing in January 2021 is a reminder of the shoulders we are now standing on in continuing to build a valued professional community.
Bertie read chemistry at Oxford and joined ICI in 1951 as a research chemist. He moved from the technical side in mid-career and became the Company Education and Training Manager, responsible for senior management training. He was a prodigious wordsmith providing valuable publications supporting education, management and training as well as his notable book for the sector in 1993 “History of Development Training”. His most successful book was ‘Effective School Management’, the 4th edition, published in 6 languages, is still available.
Bertie was heavily involved in the Chemical Industry, after joining ICI following completion of his doctorate and eventually becoming a HR Director. It was from there that he became involved in the outdoor learning community through joining the National Association for Outdoor Education representing Management Development Training. Bertie played a particularly valuable and influential role for many of us as the chair of the Development Training Advisory Group (DTAG), later to become the IOL Employer’s Group, a role he fulfilled for over 20 years. It is worth noting that his commitment to experiential learning and enabling fulfilment of ambitions was marked at his retirement as chair with the fulfilment of his own ambition, driving a steam train, as a leaving present.
Bertie dedicated his time and talents to the development or governance of a number of organisations including British Education Management and Administration Society, Brathay Hall Trust, Summer Camps Trust and importantly the formation of the Institute for Outdoor Learning through his contributions to sector convergence in the 1990’s. He was also appointed a visiting professor at the Polytechnic of Central London and later a visiting fellow at the University of London Institute of Education, where he helped to design and run courses in school management.
Bertie’s influence on many in the sector was particularly significant. His approach was underpinned by his spiritual values, and by his championing of the outdoors as a place where awe and wonder could lead to healing and growth...... something that we are all so aware of in these days, but which in the 1990s was seen as a bit radical. His contribution to the sector’s development was recognised in 2012 when he was made a Fellow of the Institute.