Former Bursar, George Matcham, passed away at 94 years of age on Friday 7th
February 2020. Following a career in the RAF, attaining the rank of Wing Commander, he was Bursar at Brentwood School for ten years until he retired in 1990.
George’s funeral was held on Wednesday 26th
February, 2020, at Herongate Wood, Woodland Cemetery. Donations in memory of George may be made at https://www.green-burial.co.uk
, to the RAF Benevolent Fund and/or St. Francis Hospice, whose staff took such good care of George.
The Valete in the Brentwoodian, by former Headmaster, John Evans read:It is also time to say farewell to our Bursar and Clerk to the Governors of 10 years' standing - Wing Commander George Matcham. With me, he has seen the School change from its Direct Grant image to that of a fully Independent School. Inevitably this has meant many changes and improvements in the fabric, or what the Americans call "the plant" of the School. Old Houses like Roden, Mitre and Barnards have needed complete face-lifts; dry rot, wet rot, death watch beetle, rising damp and falling walls, have all needed to be tackled. Ambitious projects like the splendid Courage Hall, the Queen's Building extension, Mill Hill changing rooms, the Groundsman's hut, the Heseltine Pavilion and the conversion of Otway and Mill Hill, and now the Bean Library, would have daunted many, but for a man who, as I remember was responsible for the construction of the largest aircraft hangar in Europe, this was all grist to the mill!
Bursars, perhaps, even more than Headmasters, are people whom all love to hate, if only because their responsibility for the purse strings means that they often have to say 'No', but George's integrity and deep understanding of financial matters leaves this business - and the School is a very large business - in a healthy solvent state, for which I am sure his successor, Colonel John Cook, will be extremely grateful - as I am. As I said, when a crisis crops up in a school, you can be sure that, if it can't be blamed on a Headmaster, you can usually pin it on the Bursar! Somehow the non-supply of goods, power cuts, frozen pipes and damage done due to wind, rain and flood, can be blamed on the Bursar and the nearer it is to an act of God, the more it seems like the Bursar's fault. At least I can vouch for the fact that the School's bankers have never said to our Bursar what another bank manager once said to a well known Headmaster friend of mine: "Y'know, there are three accounts that worry me - Mexico, Bangladesh and yours."
Anyway, George can begin to rest easy and look forward to plenty of golf at Thorndon Park. Having recently thrown himself off the Queen's Building and broken his ankle in the course of duty, he has only recently got back "into the swing" as it were, and we can now wish him and his wife, Winnie, a long and happy retirement and many hours playing up - or down - to his handicap.