Pat Wallace came to Windlesham in September 1998 and oversaw the smooth running of the Medical Centre until April 2007. She gained a fine reputation in the community for sustaining the efficiency of the department through many changes, but was most importantly seen by all, staff and parents especially, as a hugely respected medical practitioner. Her diagnosis of this or that ailment was faultless and many were the occasions when the speed of her action proved to be tremendously important in establishing the most appropriate and effective treatment. She was also responsible for much of what was required in one vital task that might have otherwise been a logistical nightmare, namely the relocation of the Medical Centre from the first floor of the boys’ dormitories to its present ground level position adjacent to the Girls’ Wing. This was an action recommended by the Social Services and so it was critical to get the new facility as fit for purpose as required. This was achieved with remarkable success and its design has proved to be an immensely valued asset to the manner in which the school operates.
Her retirement from Windlesham saw her simply transfer her place of work to a part-time role at the Baytrees Nursing Home in Worthing, where she continued until her own illness was diagnosed. She was to die there barely a month later, in the very place where she had cared for so many. It was a great reassurance to the family that such a large Windlesham contingent was able to pay respects at her funeral and so acknowledge all that she had done for the school too.
PETER McKEAND 31.03.88 – 12.10.11 Peter McKeand’s many Windlesham friends will be devastated to hear of his tragic death in November. It was, therefore, reassuring that the school’s grapevine worked so well that there was such a large number of his contemporaries able to attend his funeral in Mortlake. Peter endeared himself to both pupils and staff during his time at Windlesham, for not only was he a delightful companion with a wicked sense of humour, but he had a remarkable array of talents too. Intellectually he was extremely gifted, but he combined this with involvements in the creative side of the school too. Amongst the multitude of memories that have emerged, one of the principal ones is of him in an Open Day ‘take’ on Top of the Pops, when he gave an outrageously wonderful performance as Tom Jones, singing ‘Sex Bomb.’ Peter’s academic prowess saw him move on with ease to Eton in 2001, where he continued to impress all who met him. Very sadly his father died soon afterwards, but it was there that he began to take his music more seriously. He was, though, soon performing with his own band, frequently singing material he had written himself. He eventually moved on to study at Roehampton University, but it is probably fair to say he was not sure what career route to take. That such a colourfully creative life should come to so premature an end has left his many friends deeply mourning the loss of a fine young man. Our thoughts are with his mother and sister Li-Ren.
SUSIE GRIFFITHS (nee ROBERTS) 1966-2011
Susie (seen here as Captain of the U12A Netball team) came to Windlesham from Dumbrells at Ditchling in 1975 and early on displayed a marvellously determined streak. She was a gregarious youngster whose many friendships reflected her sporting interests certainly, but they also developed through her competitive spirit in the classroom, where she displayed considerable talents too. She enjoyed the drama, art and music equally, but her great passions were netball and tennis in which she excelled, showing huge skills of leadership. Despite a wickedly irreverent sense of humour, it was no surprise that she was as popular with the staff as she was with her peers.
In 1979 Susie left to go on to Benenden, where her career followed a very similar path and then on to Bristol to read German. Her professional life found her initially in the city as a fund manager, where her love of skiing certainly, but of especially boating provided her with much intense fun while relaxing. It was no wonder that, having bought a Beneteau, she eventually moved into marine management, all of which led to her meeting Griff. They married in March 2006, spending much of their intensely happy time together skiing, or over many summer months, sailing around the coast, across the channel and even to Spain.
The tragically early diagnosis of cancer simply brought out the fighter in Susie. She bore the disease with immense fortitude, but this was sadly one match she was not to win and she died on March 27th 2011, deeply mourned by her family and wide circle of friends.
TWO LEADING WINDLESHAM FIGURES
We are very sorry to report that there have in the last fifteen months been two sad deaths of major players in the Windlesham story, one which we were only able to report briefly in our last edition.
At the end of 2010 the death was announced of Bridget Malden, the older sister of Charles Malden, the last Malden to be Headmaster of Windlesham. She was born in 1926 and, after schooling at Windlesham and Roedean, joined the WRNS. After the Second World War, she returned to Windlesham to give invaluable help to the school through its post-war difficulties. During this time she was also involved in the life of the local community, running a Girl Guide troop. When she married David Furneaux in 1951, they provided a guard of honour for her! She and David had two children, Mark who is himself a former Windlesham pupil, and Anthea. Her husband was Managing Director of Marconi International Marine Co and died in 1987. Bridget Malden was the last surviving child of Mr Christopher Scott Malden, Windlesham Headmaster from 1927-1953.
Now this January has seen the sad death in Essex, after a long illness, of Genifer Malden. She was the wife of Roger Malden, the eldest child of ‘Mr Chris’ and who succeeded him as Head in 1953. So for the four years he was at the helm, she was ‘the Headmaster’s wife,’ a role she filled very contentedly and competently. They had emigrated to Rhodesia in 1957 to take up farming, their younger son Robert continuing to run the family farm for some years after his father’s death in 1977.
We are thinking of all members of the two close families, as well as the wider family, one of whom, Mrs Lucinda Williams, happily continues to play a major part in the life of our Windlesham community as Chairman of the Governors.
Bridget Malden at her wedding
It is with great sadness that we announce the death, peacefully in hospital, of Nigel Chilvers. Nigel had an extensive career at Windlesham and will be recalled principally as a former Deputy Head, as Housemaster of Grenfell House and as Head of French. Other strong memories will include him directing a very large number of School Plays up until 1983, as well as his love of archery and board games. A fuller tribute will appear in a future edition of the Newsletter. In the meantime we remember in our thoughts and prayers his wife Brigid and their sons Fergus and Ronan.
Nigel with Douglas Moody-Stuart