Derek Thornbery with Rosa Weekes on the occasion of his 80th
birthday celebration
at the school on Tuesday, 31st July 2007
Louis Parperis - Orwell 63 to 70: "Rosa’s surname was Weekes, who with Alice Talley, were the kitchen assistants assigned to the Orwell House dining-room. I’m not sure how long they worked at the school, but they both lived in Ipswich and over the years numerous boys made the trip into town to join Rosa at her Pentecostalist church, including Steve James, Peter Alexander and Zap. Zap was doing pre-career research but could never master the ‘ water into wine’ or the ‘loves and fishes’ ones, but I’m sure Harvey’s continued existence must owe something to the ‘Lazarus’ one".
From the 1990 "Janus" edited by Roger friend - Johnstons 58 to 73: "Derek Thornbery attends a monthly soup lunch in Chelmondiston and recently met Rosa Weekes, who worked in Orwell House from 1962 to 1982. Rosa acted as counselor and confessor to the boys, always urging on them the importance of respect and good manners. Derek described her as a wonderful person to have in the house. Rosa recalls having to clean the housemaster’s flat and the thing that she always did wrong was to tidy Derek’s desk, as he told her that he could never find anything afterwards. Rosa still lives in Ipswich and is in touch with several OWs."
Philip Beck: "I was in Hansons '65 - '72 and I'm pretty sure Rosa worked in out dining room too (along with Frida). Rosa stunned us at one end of term Christmas party by picking up a guitar and singing 'Jesus opened up my heart, and he let a little sunshine in'".
Frank Stuckey - Orwell 74 to 81: "The best thing about meals - certainly in Orwell - was the two long-term dinner ladies, Yana and Rosa Weekes. Three meals a day they always seemed to be there, saving leftover bacon and sausage from breakfast and chips and such from lunch. They would keep this food in the hotplate and redistribute it to those who might have missed out.

With Rosa it went even further. She was the spiritual heart and soul of the house, especially when you were in the first to fourth form. She would always be found around the entrance lobby to the house and the dining-room. Everyone had to pass her watchful eye at least three times a day, and she would distribute words of wisdom to as many as she could.

She had the ability to make everyone feel special. I still remember the first time she spoke to me; she had me totally worked out and of course already knew my name. So began a love affair that lasted my whole time in Orwell. In my junior years not a day went by that I didn’t try to sneak past her and would hear that voice.”Stuckey! Heavens to Mergatroid!” I would stop and she would make me fully aware of my current shortcomings .

She would offer comfort and give advice with a twinkle in her eye, and I always walked away from her with a big smile.

What a great lady!"