Construction of a timber-framed barn – dedicated to the memory of Old Bedalian Sam Banks, a keen and talented cricketer who died at the age of 20 – is almost complete and will provide a stunning sports pavilion overlooking the Bedales astroturf pitch and the Dunhurst sports pitches.
Members of the Bedales community, past and present, and relatives of the Banks family congregated to complete the final stages of roofing the pavilion in the Spring term 2013. Old Bedalians Gabriel Langlands and John Russell, who have been instrumental in designing and constructing the sports pavilion, shared the tasks of the exterior construction with friends and members of the school. The highlight of the weekend was the 'topping out' ceremony, an ancient Scandinavian ritual to appease the spirits of the forest, which involves mounting an evergreen branch on the structure to symbolize growth and bring good luck to the building.
The project is a culmination of fundraising efforts with contributions from the various efforts of parents, students and Old Bedalians. The Pavilion will be completed in Summer 2013. The school is very grateful for all who have supported this project.
There will be an opening ceremony for the pavilion at the Midsummer Music Festival, a fundraising event organised by the Bedales Parents' Association, on 23 June 2013. Find out more and buy a ticket!
Donations for the Sam Banks Memorial Pavilion have been split between the pavilion (75%), and The Sam Banks Memorial Fund, a charity set up by his family (25%). This is providing bursaries for low income Bangladeshis to study photography at the Pathshala South Asia Media Academy in Dhaka. In order to complete the funding for the pavilion, the school has made a significant contribution, both from its own resources and via funds received from a generous legacy.
Pictures at various stages of the build are available here:
The Sam Banks Memorial Fund provides bursaries for low income Bangladeshis to study photography at Pathshala South Asia Media Academy in Dhaka. Just a week before he died, Sam had been delighted to receive news that he had been accepted to study Film and Television Production at the London College of Communication (LCC), so this project, enabling others to pursue their dream in this field seemed appropriate. The first student, a keen and talented photographer, discovered in a village in Bangladesh from the Chapainawabgonj district has completed his first term. A mentorship programme has been set up for him and he has been provided with a camera. Rupert Grey (former Bedales and Dunhurst parent) and visiting photography lecturer at Pathshala has spent time working with him in Dhaka.
The aim is to provide bursaries for other students; one per year on the three year course. The college has an excellent reputation and many Bangladeshi students go on to win international photography awards and pursue careers in journalism.
A message from Graham and Louise Banks:
“Sam was passionate about cricket and captained teams at both Dunhurst and Bedales. No built memorial to him could be more fitting than a pavilion overlooking the Dunhurst cricket pitch and we are extremely touched that the school has proposed this. Sam was to have gone to the London College of Communication to study film-making. He also loved his last three months in India. These two facts led us to set up a fund to enable talented young people in the Indian sub-continent from impoverished backgrounds to experience the kind of course which Sam would have taken, but at this pioneering academy in Dhaka.”
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