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The official opening of the English Centre and library building took place today on 7th February, 2020, with the building being named the Humphrey Avon Centre.
For more than half of the last decade, Headmaster, John Green, the board and the senior team embarked on an ambitious strategic plan for Seaford College. The development masterplan included the redevelopment of the Sixth Form Centre, English classrooms, and Library which opened in September 2019.
The official opening of the English Centre and library building took place today, with the building being named the Humphrey Avon Centre.
During the opening, our Chair of Governors, Richard Venables Kyrke, spoke about Humphrey. He said: “Humphrey Avon joined Seaford College when it was at Mill Road, Worthing, aged 5. When he was 13, he moved with the school to the current Lavington Park location in 1952. Whilst in the Senior School he was a keen sportsman, captaining the tennis first team, the hockey 1st XI team and Sussex Schoolboys. He was captain of his house, Adair.
“When Humphrey Avon left Seaford, he became a builder and visionary developer. He joined a chartered surveying firm in Birmingham called Bond Foster and Partners where he served a 3-year apprenticeship. He then worked for the family business, the Avon Group, Worthing. Over the years he purchased Swandean Garage, High Salvington and H J Paris Group in Brighton.
Humphrey has a keen interest in cars, history and business. He became a great friend and an enormous help to Charles Johnson, the former Headmaster at Seaford College. Humphrey gave of his time freely and was never short of advice, support, ideas and energy. He had an extensive list of contacts and could call in help and advice for the school from all directions. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors between 1981 and 2001.
He successfully negotiated the sale of the girl’s school Hollington Park in East Sussex, with a significant part of the proceeds gifted to Seaford College to enable the building of the Hollington Centre.
Whenever he met anyone he would, without any prompting, refer back to their previous conversations of months ago which showed his great memory, interest in people and his passion for life.
Seaford College owes him an enormous debt of gratitude. In recognition of Humphrey’ s wonderful contribution we are naming this newly transformed English centre and library - The Humphrey Avon Centre.”
Humphrey then spoke fondly of his time at Seaford. He said: “I’m very impressed with the developments at Seaford. I hear so many great things about the school when I’m out and about in Sussex, long may it continue.”
He added: “I am one of the few people to have been christened, confirmed and married in the chapel. I’m grateful for the honour of opening the building today. Everything I have done for the school has been achieved as part of a team of like-minded people, all with different skills. I’m proud of what we have achieved.”
He thanked the team of people involved with the growth of Seaford over the years, including Headmaster, John Green, Chair of Governors, Richard Venables Kyrke, Vice-Chair, Su Sayer, CBE, John Harris and Maurice and Julia Hudson.
Fr. Colin blessed the building and everyone said the School Prayer. This was followed by a glass of sherry and a tour of the new facilities.
- Humphrey Avon