An Obituary to a Father of the Club

Frank Saunders

Born in Oban Scotland in 1921

His Father was Head Master of the Cathedral School & Organist in Oban. In 1928 his Father moved South to a Berkshire School. Frank went to King Alfred Grammar School, Wantage, where he lost his Scottish accent (he says as a matter of self-preservation).

1934 Father moved to Bedford. Frank went to Bedford Modern Trust School. Towards the end of his school days a Family friend suggested a move into an Architect’s Office as he was very good with a pencil.

War clouds were gathering and his Architects office was closed. Frank took a job in the drawing office of an engineering firm in Letchworth. He was then drafted into a larger company, working on designing cutting tools for parts of Wellington Bombers, Merlins, Browning’s, Howitzer guns & Rotor blades for Frank Whittle’s revolutionary Jet Engine.

After the war Frank returned to Architecture. He met Phyllis & married her in 1947

In 1956 they moved to Grays to join Edward Finchams Architectural Practice.(I believe a relation of Tom Shiner). However after a year, Mr Fincham died & over the next 5 years Frank took on 3 partners including Rotarian Brian Clark & opened offices in Westminster & Sudbury as well as Grays; working for Bass Charrington, Barclays Bank, Tunnel Cement, the Circus Tavern & Local Authorities in Essex & Suffolk. He obtained planning permission for me in the Green Belt & designed our Garden Centre.

Frank was a very Senior Mason becoming Inspector General of Essex, with many other Masonic commitments.

IN 2004 he was inducted as Master of the Worshipful Company of Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers a London Livery Company

He became Secretary & President of This Rotary Club in 1971; the days when the owners of the Grays High Street Shops all followed each other as President. John Westwood, Keith Jordan, Eric Pearson, Doug Smith and George Walsham, my late father, who was a very close friend of Frank’s. He and Phyllis enjoyed many holidays with them abroad.  - Finally in the last few years he became Father of the Club & would give very thoughtful & good advice when we had contentious issues to vote on.

Phyllis his wife became ill in early 2000 & Frank lovingly nursed her until her death.

Frank seemed lost without Phyllis but he stilled carried on his interests of Stamp Collecting and Music. He loved Mahler & went to many concerts with the late Rotarian Dr Jimmy Browning. His house was full of lovely books that have now been donated to Palmers College on his behalf.

He passed away very peacefully at Stisted Hall. Braintree. He was loved by so many and will be sadly missed.