Tony Loveband (1915 – 2007)
The passing of this man acknowledged by many as a teacher, friend and wise counsellor, has left a huge hole in the lives of his daughters, Shelagh and Margaret, their husbands, his six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Born into a Naval family living near Portsmouth, the assumption was that the senior service would be his career. However, on being informed at his Naval medical that he was colour blind, this option was closed to Tony. He therefore went from Cheltenham College to Trinity Hall, Cambridge to read Mathematics – a skill which lately benefited Chipperfield PCC. At Cambridge, Tony played cricket, rugby and hockey well enough to win election to the Hawks Club for the sporting elite. He brought this sporting enthusiasm to his first, and only, teaching post when he joined King’s College School, Wimbledon, in 1937. An officer in the Devonshire Regiment from 1940, a good part of his war was spent in Northern Ireland, in administration and training, where one momentous event occurred – he met his beloved Mary, whom he married in 1943. Many will remember celebrating Tony and Mary’s Diamond Wedding three or so years ago.
On returning to KCS in the Spring of 1946, Tony found his blazer and whistle for rugby refereeing hanging on the same peg in the changing room where he had left them some six years earlier. He was master-in-charge of cricket and coached rugby; he was the Officer Commanding the Combined Cadet Force and, more significantly, the Housemaster of the school’s boarding house from 1948 to 1958, a r�le for which he and, equally, Mary, were eminently suited. Tony’s extreme fairness and friendliness are legendary amongst former pupils. He became Second Master in 1958. His wide-ranging responsibilities covered all the administration and discipline in a large school during the rebellious sixties. Tony was a supreme administrator: timetables were produced each year, rotas and lists appeared, A-level choices were accommodated and people were cajoled into taking on this job and that. When he retired after 18 years as Second Master in 1976, the school magazine said: “What greater tribute can one pay to his wise and emollient rule than to say that he not only made no enemies at all, but was never once seen to lose his temper?”
For 47 years,Tony was a leading light in the Independent Schools Tennis Association: first as a committee member, then Treasurer, then as its popular Chairman for nearly twenty years and he continued to visit their Championships every year. His name is perpetuated in the Loveband Trophy which he presented for the senior girls’ competition.
Tony was a r�le model for all, and not just in the professional sense, there was the family man as well. He and Mary lived in Wimbledon all their married life until moving to Chipperfield to enjoy their retirement in 1993. Shelagh and Richard Nichols provided the best possible home for them at Newhall Barn to spend their last years. Tony very quickly became involved in local affairs. He was Treasurer of the PCC and worked closely with Angela Butler when raising money for the new Parish Room. He also kept the accounts for the Village Hall whilst the refurbishment took place. He was a stalwart supporter of local trade and well-known in the area. Tony’s main interest was in people. He was always intensely interested in everyone of whatever age and would talk to anyone about anything, anywhere. It is no wonder that he was so loved and admired.
He and Mary were keen gardeners. He was very good as growing raspberries, but, due to his colour-blindness, was not very good at picking them. He left that part to Mary and any other willing helpers who never went away empty-handed. For many years he and Mary kept bees, producing not just the honey, but the by-products of skin cream and furniture polish. They also master-minded the kneeler project in St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon. It was Tony’s job to stretch the stitched canvases before they were sewn onto their blocks. He would delight in describing some of the particularly misshapen canvases as parallelograms.
Despite never having lived alone before, Tony adapted to life without his beloved Mary with extraordinary stoicism, never allowing his grief to be public. His acceptance of his situation was remarkable and gained him the admiration of all. Tony Loveband: a colleague to be revered and loved, a father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend beyond compare; a life to be admired and emulated. His Service of Thanksgiving was held in a packed St. Paul’s on 16 February which would have been his 92nd birthday.
Margaret Wilkinson, daughter