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Bloxham Mourns Former Chairman of Governors

Bloxham School has recently suffered a great loss in the shape of the passing of Frank Defty MBE, Chairman of the Bloxham School Council of Governors between 1982 and 1991.

Frank was a vital figure at a time of rapid development for the school, with the Dewey Sports Centre, the new Music School and a girls’ boarding house in Park Close just a few of the changes he steered through in concert with the Headmaster, Michael Vallance and the Bursar, Nigel Halfpenny. He had been a Governor of Bloxham since 1974 and had a strong connection with the school even before that, sending his son Nigel to Bloxham in 1965 and providing valuable assistance, including building materials for the construction of Raymond House. Frank had strong connections with the Woodard Corporation, having himself attended Denstone.

Frank Defty was born near Sunderland on 3rd August 1921 and enjoyed a highly successful career in Kirk and Kirk, a building and civil engineering company based in Putney, ultimately becoming Chairman of the company. As well as his contribution to Bloxham, Frank served for many years as a Fellow of the Southern Division of the Woodard Corporation, and it was highly appropriate when he was made an MBE for his services to education. According to the late Michael Vallance, with whom he worked so closely, Frank’s greatest qualities as a chairman were his Christian vision and his ability to see quickly to the heart of a problem and to act decisively. He was also adept in the selection of Governors who shared his vision for the school. The support of his wife Delphine played a large part in Frank’s success as Chairman of the School Council, and this was recognised in the dinner held in their honour by the school in June 1991 on the occasion of Frank’s retirement. Bloxham School offers its condolences to Delphine, to their children Nigel and Barbara and to the family.