Andy was born in Oporto in 1934. His father was in the Port wine trade and Andy attended the Oporto British School. He was soon sent to England to boarding school attending The Oratory Prep Shool and at 13 went on to The Oratory.
When his schooling had finished Andy went on to Oxford where he read History and he has always remained a true Historian. Unsure of what he wanted to do next he drifted into teaching returning to Portugal where he taught at the British Council and for one year at St. Julian’s School.
He decided that he had better make a success of life and went in to the business world but just before being posted to Angola he realized that this life was not for him.
He returned to England and took his qualifications in teaching and realized he had found his vocation. He had a very tough introduction to teaching at Tulse Hill, in East London.
He moved on to a prep school – Redrice - where he became house master and from there moved to one of the British army schools in Reindarlin, Germany where he stayed for four years.
As he was about to accept a challenging offer as Head of history at another British school in Germany he received a telephone call offering him the job of Headmaster at St. Julian’s School. He had to make a decision there and then. This was shortly after the Revolution and the school was in difficult circumstances with falling numbers of pupils and major problems with staff. He accepted and the rest is history.
Returning to Portugal provided an enormous challenge as he slowly tackled the many problems facing the school. Slowly but surely he brought things back to normality and the school began to develop and grow into what it has become today, one of the top schools in Europe. Andy brought the International Baccalaureate to Portugal and since then many other schools have adopted this programme of excellence. He introduced the sporting March Festival which continues to this day and where schools from all over Portugal compete annually at St. Julian’s. He began the Former Pupil’s Organisation as well always giving it his full support.
He was a true British Headmaster in every sense of the word, respected and admired, charming and polite but at the same time very humble and unassuming when you got to know him well. He devoted his life to the children of St. Julian’s School and there are so many all over the world who owe him so much of what they have achieved today. He was a mine of information and was always being asked for advice by parents and students, he was able to offer the encouragement, belief and faith that so many craved. He saw beyond what so many failed to see and gave children the chance and opportunity to make something of their lives.
Whilst Headmaster he was well known amongst the many British schools abroad and was always treated with great admiration and respect. His vocation of helping the young to succeed gave him the opportunity to start the Portuguese Committee of the United World Colleges that continues to this day; allowing those who would never have had the opportunity to travel abroad on a scholarship to finish their schooling.
Andy retired in 1994 after 18 years as headmaster. He was awarded the OBE in recognition of all that he had done in both education and work with the British community in Portugal and received this award from the Queen in July 1994 at Buckingham Palace.
His love of history and reading led him down many paths. He was a devoted member of the British Historical Society and he wrote many articles and produced several publications including The History of The Residence of the British Ambassador in Lisbon. If there was ever anything you wanted to know about history you just had to ask!
Upon retirement Andy soon got down to working with the many committees and charitable institutions (The British Retirement Home, The British Cemetary Committee, St. Mary’s Executive Council, The Executive Council of St. Julian’s School, The British Historical Society to name but a few) in this area as well as taking on the challenge of running the British Community Council. He was also a member for many years of the Committee of the Friends of Monserrate where he was instrumental in helping to restore the gardens and the pavilion to their former glory.
Struck by ill health in 1998 due to a major car accident Andy had to alter his active day-to-day life. In 2004 he defied all medical predictions and survived miraculously what doctors to this day find hard to comprehend. His latter years were difficult as he was unable to be the active person he had always been, walking his beloved dogs for miles each day, swimming daily at Guincho – he had to accept that this could no longer be. Despite his great achievements during his active life, he showed his enormous strength of character during his final years. How many of us would have been able to bear his misfortune with such fortitude and humility yet with never a word of complaint? There will not be another Thomas Andrew Bull, a true gentleman whom we have all been privileged to know. His spirit will live on however and will stand alongside each and every one of us to both guide and to provide us with a source of inspiration in our daily lives.