Obituary: Irving Steggles, a former Chair of MEI’s board of trustees

Posted: 14/05/2020

Irving was born in 1945. He graduated from Corpus Christi, Oxford in Mathematics in 1967, and went to teach at Monkton Combe School where he was a fantastic mathematics teacher and housemaster. He served as MEI’s Chair of trustees in the early 1990s, taking over from Douglas Butler.

During his tenure he worked hard at getting MEI onto a professional footing, appointing accountants and solicitors and MEI’s first member of staff, and moving the MEI office into rooms in the school. He also put a lot of effort into supporting the gestation of MEI’s original modular A level scheme.

There are many stories of his time with MEI, but some of them involve the verb “to be Steggled". This was a verb coined at Monkton Combe, where his ability to smile sweetly and ask a favour of someone at the very last minute was legendary. The verb reached the whole of MEI when, at a conference at St Catherine’s Oxford, one of the eminent speakers arrived expecting to speak alongside Irving in an important plenary but instead found himself giving the whole lecture. He opened with the line, “I have been Steggled, which means.....”.

Irving was an amazing man and MEI benefited from his time in charge. Without him, MEI would not be what it is now.

Peter Bossom, MEI Trustee and former colleague of Irving Steggles

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