Dear Ms Byng,
You have left us too soon, but what you have given us will stay with us forever. You have shown us what it means to live life to the full, every day, not just to exist. You have taught us that life is all about God, service, laughter, friendship, love, maths and mangoes. You have given us the gift of singing, helping, exercising and hard work. We thank God for the present your life has been to all of us, students and staff alike. We will treasure this present and cherish our present, reaching in and reaching out.
Laverne Byng (1962-2017) d. 23 February. Laverne was born in Trinidad on the 19th September 1962 to Henry and Gloria Byng. The seventh child of the couple, Laverne learnt early the joys of having a big family. And the family continued to grow until Laverne had five younger siblings too!
Laverne’s passion for learning took her from the little village school in Laventille, to Bishops Anstey High School, in Port of Spain, at a time when few children of her upbringing could enter a prestige school. An avid reader, Laverne would stop at the bookstore, on the way home from school, and read half of a Nancy Drew novel. Once at home, she would recall it in detail for the benefit of her younger siblings.
In her early twenties, Laverne’s love for learning paid off. After working at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for some time, she won a scholarship to study in England, where she gained a Diploma in Professional Studies in Accounting (ACCA) and then a Masters of Business Administration. Having graduated, Laverne worked for the Allied Irish Bank and then at the BBC as a Financial Controller. Being the only black female manager at the BBC presented some challenges, but Laverne faced them with steadfast kindness.
Years later, Laverne’s passion for sharing the gospel led her to get involved with Adventist-Muslim Relations. She worked tirelessly to communicate the hope we have in Jesus, specially to women. Through her ministry, Laverne was blessed with many long-lasting friendships, including her “adopted” sister Mahera.
In 1998, Laverne was diagnosed with a Churg-Strauss Syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition. There were days when her muscles were so weakened that she could not walk, but Laverne found much comfort in prayer and singing. With the support of doctors and friends, Laverne braved the pain and eventually trained as a fitness instructor, a passion she retained till the end.
During the last seven years of her life, Laverne worked at Stanborough Secondary School as a bookkeeper and took every opportunity to serve others. Her office was always filled with music, laughter and students who needed help with Maths assignments. Staff members were blessed with her Tuesday fitness lessons and her smile, which she wore permanently.
Recently TheEngineer.co.uk published an article about Adam Gibbard – a former Stanborough Student. The article talks about his path into BAE Systems, what the placements have been like so far and what interesting projects BAE has lined up for the future. For the full article please go to: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sea-change-life-as-a-graduate-naval-architect-for-bae-systems/#.VyosgnCfN30.linkedin
Needless to say, we are very proud of Adam and his successes so far!It is always exciting when we hear back from our former students and we would love to hear from many more of you. Get in touch with us and tell us where you are and what you are doing via our alumni email, or visit us at our alumni web page.
Margaret Helen Doreen Guest (1921-2015) d. 4 September. Doreen was born in Edinburgh on the 26th of March 1921 to Pastor Samuel George Hyde and his wife Marjorie (née Keough). Doreen, the eldest of three daughters, took on early responsibility for her sisters June and Jacqueline.
By nature of her father’s ministry, the family moved frequently to different parts of the country. Always willing to help out, Doreen, aged just three, was known to fetch bread from the local baker’s in Brighton. Growing up, Doreen was also keen to lend a hand at her father’s evangelistic meetings, where she utilised her extensive skills as a keyboard player by playing the piano.
As well as being musically gifted, Doreen was highly academic and went to Cardiff University aged just 17, emerging with a double first in French and Latin. She continued to develop her piano playing before receiving the accolade Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM).
She loved to sing and was an accomplished soloist and pianist. Doreen’s talents in music were also used in evangelism. As a child she sang and played the piano for her father Pastor George Hyde’s campaigns at Cardiff, Ipswich and Oxford. She was a frequent soloist at Stanborough Park Church. She sang at the New Gallery, when Leslie Riskowitz and Malcolm Taylor were in charge of the music there.
One day in 1936, Doreen went to visit her grandparents in Watford and, at a meeting with her old friend Maybel Throssel, met Jim. A romance began with this tall handsome man and, in 1942, Jim and Doreen were engaged. Jim was drafted into the army and was on overseas service for a while. When he returned in 1945 they got married.
In 1942 Doreen began a long and distinguished career in teaching. Although she began her career in a secondary school, she spent the majority of her time teaching in junior schools, specialising in music. She also taught at Hyland House Church School, becoming headmistress for a short time.
Doreen was Head Deaconess at Stanborough Park and was also a dedicated Sabbath School teacher. In retirement, she volunteered in the Stanborough School Library.
As well as a mother, Doreen was a loving grandmother of seven, and great grandmother of two, who all knew her affectionately as Gran. Doreen spent much of her later life dedicated to each of her rescue dogs, the last dog being her close companion right until the end.
Later, when her health prevented her from attending Stanborough Park Church, she enjoyed watching the Church service on Livestream. She also became fully involved as a Prayer Warrior, a duty she carried out to the very end of her life.
Memories Of Doreen
“I have known Doreen for over 25 years… as a colleague at Stanborough School where she served as a librarian during my time. I have fond memories of the visits to the last night at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall which Doreen used to organise for the staff and students of Stanborough School and singing hymns around the piano which was a love of hers… I feel bless to have known her.”
– Kish Poddar, Stanborough School Teacher
“An amazing friend of God, loving, caring, thoughtful.”
– Lydia Dean, Former Student
“My personal recollection of Doreen Guest is her consistent sweet smile, gentle but firm, which I presume was formed during her teaching career.”
– Johnson Wong, Friend
“I remember Doreen Guest as the quiet, unassuming and obliging school librarian who found space to house the science department’s collection of back copies of the New Scientist magazine.”
– Phillip Richards, Colleague
“After Mrs Guest retired from teaching, she and her husband travelled regularly from Ruislip to help the students at Stanborough School. They transformed the library: all the books they catalogued professionally. The same standard of excellence was evident in other areas. Mrs Guest taught music, conducted the chorale and accompanied the choir. It was a privilege to work with such a talented and gracious lady.”
– Ms Nan Tucker, Colleague
“Doreen Guest was the receptionist when I was the Bursar Stanborough Park Primary and Secondary Schools during 1999/2000. ‘Sister Guest’ was kind, helpful, friendly and strict all at the same time, not just with the students but me too. Being new to Stanborough Doreen took me under her wing… She was jolly and full of laughter, we laughed together many times.”
– Naomi Watson, Colleague
Terry and Jean Menkens Golden Wedding Anniversary!!!!
Former Stanborough Secondary School teacher Terry Menkens and his wife, Jean, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on June 6th.
Originally from Australia, Terry came to Watford in January 1964 to teach at Stanborough Secondary School. This proved to be a life-changing experience as this is where he met his wife Jean who had left her native Lowestoft to work in the Treasury Department at the British Union Conference Office on Stanborough Park. They married the following year at the Stanborough Park Church in Garston where Terry now supervises the ongoing maintenance of the church buildings, conference centre and grounds.
Having spent two years at Stanborough School Terry says, ” We spent two great years teaching in USA before returning to Australia to head the Townsville Adventist School until 1977. Returning to England, he taught Design and Technology, Maths and Geography at Stanborough Secondary School and Jean worked as Registrar at the Voice of Prophecy Bible School on Stanborough Park until they both retired in December 2006.”
They enjoy having an expanding family with two children, Troy and Fiona, two grandsons, one granddaughter and one great-grandson.
With Jean coming from East Anglia it wasn’t surprising that they returned to the area to celebrate their special occasion. Terry says, “We spent the weekend of our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrating with family with a river cruise near Lowestoft, Jean’s hometown, enjoying three brilliant, sunny days.”
He continues, “We give thanks to God for so many wonderful memories and for His protection through these many years. We considered retiring in Australia but with so many family, friends and past-students here in UK, have decided to remain here where we are settled and happy.”
Originally published in the “Journal of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Messenger: 11 September 2015” and is reprinted with permission.
Last Thursday, 4 June, members of the British Union Conference Executive Committee came to visit the school. As trustees at Adventist Church headquarters they take a deep interest in the school and so were invited for a ‘hands-on’ visit by our Headteacher, Lorraine Dixon.
They were shown around the classes by five of our students – Timothy, Aaron, Grace, Draupadi & Cherie, all of whom, it appears, did an amazing job, if the praise from the BUC Executive members is anything to go by. John Surridge, President of the Adventist Church in Wales is a former Stanborough student and felt compelled to write an article about his visit. We highly encourage you to go read it on the Adventist Church’s Website.
We recently received a very exciting update about one of Stanborough’s past students, Rachael Jarvis. Rachael is currently studying at Sir George Monoux College, where she was recently awarded ‘Psychology Student of the year (2014) ’.
Rachael had the immense honour of being presented the award by The Mayor Of Waltham Forest, Cllr Terry Wheeler, and the schools Chair of Governors, Mr Alan Wells OBE. Rachel was also privileged to be congratulated by Mr Paolo Ramella, the Principal of Sir George Monoux College, and Melissa Russ of Reed Specialists.
She received the award for her amazing perseverance and diligence in her studies. Her teachers commented that she inspires them with her amazing personal growth over the last few years.
To say the least, we are extremely proud of her and all that she has achieved. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
We would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate all our former students and wish them well in their studies and careers. We would love to hear more of your stories and achievements. If you want to submit something to us, please contact us on our alumni email, or visit us at our alumni web page.