Richard A Beardon - Lodge 1960-1965

I went to St Lawrence College Junior School from September 1955-June 1960 and to St Lawrence College Senior School from September 1960-June 1965.

My parents selected St Lawrence because my father, Denis Frederick Beardon and his brother Derek Beardon were both St Lawrence pupils. My parents were a Royal Air Force family and likely to move frequently so boarding at St Lawrence was a natural choice. In addition my paternal grandparents, Mr and Mrs C C Beardon lived in Ramsgate and were nearby to provide support.

I was in Lodge House while attending the Senior School, under the fantastic Housemaster Donald Drew.

My favourite subjects were English, Geology and Geography, and I most enjoyed the teaching of Mr E B Watson and his management of the Geology Club. Other teachers who made strong and favourable impressions on me included Mr Roberts, Headmaster of the Junior School, James Gillespie who introduced me to Classical Music while at the Junior School, Mr and Mrs Clifford who boarded me for the first few months in 1955 after starting at the Junior School. Colonel Verbi at the Junior School who was very motivational and introduced me to Trout fly fishing and Beagling which was absolutely brilliant fun. I still remember being “bloodied” and have the hare’s pad mounted on a shield, hanging in my home office to this day! The shield has a small plaque, Blean Beagles Boughton Church October 1956! I also clearly recall the beagle hound pack leader’s name, a bitch called “Whitey”.

I always enjoyed sports and was fortunate to try most of the many on offer. My favourites were rugby, hockey, “quad hockey” and cricket. Also enjoyed were tennis, small bore rifle shooting, gym and swimming.

Sadly, I have not maintained contact with my school friends, many of whom I have probably forgotten. But here are some names of great friends with whom I shared many fantastic experiences:  Tim Giles, Nigel Wright, Barry Webb, David Oldham, Ian Prior, Robert Eve, Bob Gray, and to many others whose names have escaped me I sincerely apologise and wish you all well.

I have often been asked what did I value most from my SLC education? Well for me the answer is somewhat cliched because I have always felt that I gained a great and rounded grounding and good preparation for adult life. Learning to get on with people from different backgrounds and opinions; gaining a broad academic training which stood me in good stead at University; participation in sports of many kinds, both team and individual; developing my own leadership skills which became of the greatest importance in formulating my managerial career in big businesses.

St Lawrence helped to reinforce the values I learned at home regarding a very strong work ethic; high integrity in all personal and business relationships and work; a readiness to help other less fortunate than oneself; the importance of setting personal goals and the pursuit of excellence and winning.

I was very fortunate to receive much recognition at SLC which to this day I am very proud of and feel it gave me a head start in my adult life. The recognition I can recall is as follows; School Captain; Captain of the Choir; Head of House, Lodge; Captain of First XV Rugby; Secretary of First XI Hockey; Captain of Second XI Cricket; Leadership position in the CCF; and Captain of several House Sports Teams. I received First Team Colours in Rugby and Hockey. During my final year at SLC I discovered and successfully applied for several Industrial Scholarships. I accepted an offer from Perkins Engines in Peterborough where I undertook a Commercial and Technical Business Undergraduate Apprenticeship, and took a Sandwich Honours Degree in Business Studies at Coventry University, from which I graduated in 1969. Thereafter I had a career in a succession of large multi-national companies, in several different industrial sectors, finishing my career with Cadbury Schweppes in the USA as President and Chief Operating Officer for The American Bottling Company.

I am now happily retired and living in Somerset and would be happy to renew contact with friends from SLC in 1955-65

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