Earby teacher (54) dies in Egypt

David Speak who died in Luxor, Egypt, November 2011.
David Speak who died in Luxor, Egypt, November 2011.

A FORMER Earby man has died suddenly following an accident at his home in Luxor, Egypt.

David Speak (54) had been working overseas as a teacher for more than 20 years and, with his wife Marina, recently built a luxury home overlooking the River Nile, close to the Valley of the Kings.

He had experienced occasional seizures following an earlier accident and collapsed on the stairs of his home last month. He spent two weeks in a coma at Luxor Hospital, but died on Tuesday.

David was born and brought up at Sough and attended Kelbrook Primary School before going on to Ermysted’s Grammar School, Skipton.

After leaving school, he went into the catering trade, working at the Bull Inn, Broughton, when it was regarded as one of the top restaurants in the area. He later became head waiter at the Spring Bank Hotel, Nelson.

Eventually he met the woman who would eventually become his wife, Marina Hitchin, when he worked at her restaurant in Burnley.

In 1990 he changed his career and together the couple began travelling the world as teachers. Their first overseas post took them to Morocco, where they fell in love with Middle Eastern culture.

They spent several years working in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, before heading to Karachi in Pakistan and then Nigeria.

More recently, they spent five years in Sudan and became embroiled in an international incident when children at their school named a teddy bear Mohammed. David had to work with Foreign Office officials to ensure the teacher involved could leave the country safely.

When the accident happened, David and his wife were preparing to leave for a new job working at a military hospital in Saudi Arabia.

David is survived by his wife Marina, parents Donald and Ann Speak of Earby, and sister Melanie.