Category Archives: Presentations

Speaking engagements

SUSSEX VISIT – A VERY BUSY WEEK!

As can be seen from the previous posts, last week was exceptionally busy and productive for us. With three activities to attend, we were already looking forward to an exciting week. But we had no idea of the surprises in store for us along the way.

Monday evening’s presentation to the students at Pestalozzi was the best to date. We have very much enjoyed giving this talk each year but we didn’t realise how much interest is now being generated. We could not have been more pleased with the responses from this meeting. A larger audience attended this year and there were more former early Pestalozzi children present. It was also especially rewarding to have some guests who were former carers and teachers in our Pestalozzi lives and who had travelled a significant distance for the evening. This was also the first time Dr Craig Fees (of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust), our supporter and friend, had actually been able to visit our former surrogate home and see what all the fuss was about.

Will & Len with former early Pestalozzi girl Youdon Lhamo.
Will & Len with former early Pestalozzi girl Youdon Lhamo.

Tuesday provided a completely unexpected event. In the afternoon we “bumped into” Tibetan former early Pestalozzi child Youdon Lhamo! We had had no contact since leaving Pestalozzi in 1966. A practising midwife, Youdon had planned to visit the Village to meet the current students and tell them something of her life. It was a real pleasure to sit down with her and talk over our Pestalozzi memories and our subsequent journeys.

Former early Pestalozzi girl, Youdon, demonstrates her skill on the Tibetan lute during a presentation at Pestalozzi last week.
Former early Pestalozzi girl, Youdon, demonstrates her skill on the Tibetan lute during a presentation at Pestalozzi last week.

On Wednesday evening, we attended the “Business Meets Students” session which introduced the students to the idea of networking opportunities. We were also lucky enough, afterwards, to attend Youdon’s captivating presentation, along with a delightful performance she had arranged with four of the current Tibetan students.

After a day of “recovery and consolidation” on Friday, Saturday morning saw us reconnect with the current PIVT students in an

Len (r) - a surprise meeting with former school-friend, Charlie Fellows.
Len (r) – a surprise meeting with former school-friend, Charlie Fellows.

informal discussion about our early lives at Pestalozzi. After an enjoyable hour with them we were about to begin our journeys home when Pestalozzi staff member, Fay, announced her father was coming in to see us. This turned out to be none other than former Sedlescombe local, Charlie Fellows, who had been Len’s school chum at Claverham! Once again, there was a lot of nostalgic conversation.

All these wonderful moments throughout the last week have reinforced (yet again) just how important Pestalozzi was in our lives – as well as in many other people’s.

Again, our thanks go to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their vital support through their Sharing Heritage grant.

The Early Pestalozzi Children Project Logo

 

 

 

To see another report about our week in Sussex, check Dr Craig Fees’ article on the PETT website – here

UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT

brighton_university_logoLast Thursday saw William and Len spoke about the Early Pestalozzi Children Project to academic staff and Doctor of Education students at the University of Brighton’s Education Research Centre and School of Education in Falmer. The audience was interested in the way the
project has been approached and also in the parallels between The Early Pestalozzi Children Project Logorefugee experiences after the Second World War and those who have been recently displaced. We are delighted to have extended our Project’s connection to a new academic environment.

Reunited at University of Brighton! Len & Will were delighted to have Dr Yaa Asare in the audience. Yaa is the daughter of the long-time cook at the Pestalozzi Children's Village during the 1960s.
Reunited at University of Brighton! Len & Will were delighted to have Dr Yaa Asare in the audience. Yaa is the daughter of the long-time cook at the Pestalozzi Children’s Village during the 1960s.

Our visit was made even more special by the attendance of the University’s Dr Yaa Asare. Yaa is a life-long friend of the early Pestalozzi children and daughter of a wonderful lady, Irmgard Pollack, who was the Pestalozzi cook (and much more) in those early days.

Our appreciation goes to Heritage Lottery Fund which, through their Sharing Heritage grant, have enabled us to travel to and engage in this seminar.

PESTALOZZI FOUNDERS’ DAY 2016

Monday, 24th October 2016 was a special moment – for both the Early Pestalozzi Children Project and the Pestalozzi International Village Trust (PIVT).

This year, PIVT introduced “Founders’ Day” – as an annual celebration of the establishment and origin of their charity. The date was selected for having been the Village’s inaugural Foundation Day in 1960.

Len & Will presenting their story to the audience in the new Pestalozzi Centre.
Len & Will presenting their story to the audience in the new Pestalozzi Centre.**

William and Len attended and made their annual presentation to new students about the history of the Village.

An unprecedented audience of almost 80 people included a former Claverham County Secondary School PE teacher, Lee Smith (who will be remembered as Miss Cave/Mrs Edwards) and a former Pestalozzi volunteer house assistant, Mike Neighbour (from 1965). Six of our “early Pestalozzi” group were also present.

The celebration was also attended by Dr Craig Fees, RMARA, Archivist at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust (PETT).

Dr Craig Fees, Archivist at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, presents his thoughts about our Project.
Dr Craig Fees, Archivist at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, presents his thoughts about our Project.**

Craig spoke generously about the Early Pestalozzi Children Project and its importance to the annals of a unique charity.

William and Len concluded the formalities with the unveiling and installation of a Founders’ display in the entrance of the new Pestalozzi Centre. This important exhibit displays, not only the two founders, Dr Henry Alexander and Mrs Mary Buchanan, but also Johann Pestalozzi, Dr Walter Corti (founder of the Swiss Pestalozzi community and inspiration for the British charity) and

Presenting the images to be installed in the Founders' Display in the Pestalozzi Centre are (from left): Yogi, Sonja, Sonam Phuntsho (Bhutan), Irmina and Shaylynne Mckop (Zimbabwe)
Presenting the images to be installed in the Founders’ Display in the Pestalozzi Centre are (from left): Yogi, Sonja, Sonam Phuntsho (Bhutan), Irmina and Shaylynne Mckop (Zimbabwe)**

Eric Bourne (first Warden of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village). Each of hese five people were, in their own ways,  truly significant to the organisation during in its early years.

The framed images were proudly displayed and hung by former early Pestalozzi children and current PIVT students.

The night concluded with a delicious dinner in Swiss Hall.

Our thanks go to the PIVT staff for arranging an excellent celebration; to Dr Craig Fees and Fiona Fees for their presence and kind words; to the catering staff for the delicious meal; to the PIVT students for their warm welcome and organisational skills – and to the evening’s audience for expressing their enthusiastic interest. A special thank you goes to our early Pestalozzi family who have been so generous in their appreciation of our efforts.

** Photos courtesy of Pestalozzi International Village Trust student

The Early Pestalozzi Children Project is grateful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for their Sharing Heritage grant.  This grant enabled us to finance this presentation and the the display which we donated to the Pestalozzi International Village Trust.

The Early Pestalozzi Children Project Logo