Abingdon News No.49

26 January 2019 Abingdon Development Bursaries at Abingdon 63 is a significant number for Abingdon School. OA John Roysse was 63 when he re- endowed the School in 1563, and we currently have 63 pupils who receive means-tested bursaries. These were made possible by generous donations from OAs, parents, staff, governors and friends. Providing access to an Abingdon education for able boys with limited or no financial support has always been central to the School. We are now turning to those in our community who share this vision and can help us to increase the number of bursary places we are able to offer. Our aim is to invest in the society of tomorrow through outstanding educational opportunity. To find out more about supporting bursaries at Abingdon, please contact Alexa Broad in the Development and Alumni Relations Office at alexa.broad@abingdon.org.uk or 01235 849117. BBC’s Will Gompertz Opens Beech Court Home of the School’s Sixth Form Centre, Library and Art Department, Beech Court is a superb new facility that hosted its opening event on Friday 9 November. Guests including pupils, parents, staff, governors, OAs and members of the building project team were greeted to the lively sounds of a pupil jazz band and later treated to upbeat addresses from both the Headmaster and the BBC’s Arts Editor, Will Gompertz. Will, who encouraged guests to ‘think like an artist’, attended with his wife, Kate, and his parents- in-law, Sir Eric and Lady Anderson – Sir Eric being a former Headmaster of Abingdon School (1970-75). Following the reception members of the Martlet editorial team interviewed Will and the Andersons for a feature in the next edition, with the Headmaster and his wife, Shanti, then welcoming them to Lacies Court for dinner. All three floors buzzed with activity during the event, while the exterior of the building also came alive against the dark autumn skies thanks to vibrant cerise lighting and bold projections of the griffen on its walls. Thanks to the continued generosity of Tony Edwards (OA 1962), the RAF section of the School’s CCF now houses an outstanding virtual reality flight simulator suite which is already benefiting the training of cadets attached to Abingdon and other local schools. The simulator equipment was assembled by dedicated RAF cadets last summer and officially opened on Monday 15 November by former Sqn Ldr Lawrence ‘Benny’ Goodman, the last surviving pilot of the 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron. At this occasion, Tony – who first helped to set up the School’s RAF section in 1960 – recounted to attending cadets and staff the remarkable life and bravery of Benny, who took part in 30 operations with 617 Squadron including two to sink the German battleship Tirpitz. Tony then unveiled and gifted to the School a wonderful portrait of Benny drawn by artist Jeremy Houghton, who has sketched all surviving bomber airmen for the RAF Centenary. It was a privilege to have Benny join us. Benny Goodman Flight Simulator

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