Robin Bligh Memorial Lunch
On Saturday 9 October, we were pleased to welcome over 80 Reigatians back to the school to remember the incredible dedication of former RGS teacher and 16th Reigate Scout Leader, Robin Bligh (RGS staff 1953-1994).
Guests included former students and Reigate Grammar School colleagues who wanted to pay tribute to this great Reigatian for his rugby and cricket coaching, Maths and Geography teaching or his leadership of the 16th Reigate Scouts troop. We were pleased that many of Robin’s family members were also able to join us to hear just how many lives Robin changed over the years.
In advance of the event, we invited Reigatians to send us tributes and were amazed to receive so many heartfelt memories and words of gratitude. Many of these, along with photographs spanning four decades, were displayed around the venue on the day. You can view these tributes to Robin Bligh here. Photographs from the event can be viewed in the events gallery.
Guests enjoyed a wonderful lunch and the chance to catch up with friends. Lunch was followed by speeches, led by Headmaster Shaun Fenton who underlined the value of giving students a broad education beyond their academic studies – something that Robin fully recognised and which remains a key value of the school to this day.
Robin’s brother, Bernard, spoke on behalf of the family to thank everyone for attending. Frankie Bligh, one of Robin’s nieces shared a fabulous memory of an exchange, in which Robin had told her to type a sequence of numbers into her calculator: 46178. He then said, “Turn the calculator upside down!” to reveal:
Another niece, Juliet explained how it was as she grew older that she came to really appreciate Robin’s qualities. Nephew Sonam and niece Hazel then gave a witty summary of the ’10 life lessons’ gained from their Uncle Robin!
Several Reigatians then shared their own fond memories: Dick Mantell (RGS 1962-70), Peter Burgess (RGS 1967-1974), Steven Robinson (RGS 1961-69), John Manfield (RGS staff 1979-2010), David Payton (RGS 1970-77) and Bob Bayley (RGS 1957-64), who removed his jumper to reveal his old Scout shirt, decorated with a vast display of badges – thanks to Robin.
Finally, Chair of Governors elect, Mark Elsey (RGS 1974-78) thanked everyone for coming and Head of Foundation, Sean Davey, introduced the newly-launched Robin Bligh Bursary Fund, which will provide life-changing opportunities for deserving young people for many years to come. While Robin’s legacy will live on in the skills and wisdom that he passed on the thousands of RGS students and Scouts during his teaching career, through this fund, he will continue to have an impact on even more young people beyond his lifetime. We call on you to join many others in pledging support for the Robin Bligh Bursary Fund.
We would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who helped to make the event so special – it was a fitting tribute to a truly great Reigatian.
Robin was a dedicated supporter of the Changing Lives campaign and left a generous gift in his Will to support future generations of Reigate Grammar School students. Find more information on leaving a legacy here.