Thomas Ferguson 'Fergus' Buckingham, Sanderson's 1948-1953 (August 2014)

Thomas Buckingham

Chris Buckingham (Second’s 1987–1987) writes: Fergus Buckingham (Sanderson’s 1948-1953) died peacefully, after an extended battle with cancer, aged 79 years. A lifelong learner and teacher, Fergus was inspired by his time at Lancing. He was not the most diligent of scholars when he first arrived, but he was an enthusiastic chorister and the Chapel quickly became a favourite place. He developed a passion for the natural sciences. His teachers, in particular Dr Goodier and Bill Dovell, deserve much credit. Fergus’s love of Bach, organ music, radio, radar and things that go ping remained constant throughout his life. After completing National Service and gaining a degree from Cambridge he taught at Denstone College for more than 20 years. He married Elizabeth-Anne (née Palmer). They had four children Zoe, Christopher (Second's 1987), Edward and Sebastian. He seemed destined to serve Denstone College all his days, until the family made the brave decision to emigrate to Australia in 1980. Fergus maintained a connection with Lancing for many years after he left. He helped lead a walk between Denstone and Lancing in 1973, celebrating the centenary anniversary of the formation of Denstone College. He also billeted members of a Lancing College Cricket tour at his home in Melbourne in 1986. It was then he and Alan Evans-Jones (staff) hatched a plan to send his son Christopher to Lancing for two terms in the Upper Sixth. This resulted in a memorable cultural exchange for all concerned! Fergus was never one to pursue the limelight, he successfully flew under the radar doing what he was best at right up until six months before he died. His teaching career spanned 55 years, he imbued thousands of people in England and Australia with his love of learning. His old lecture theatre at Denstone College is still called Buckingham Palace - a fine testament to his contribution. He lived a full and rich life nourished by the achievements of others. He knew the power of knowledge was in the sharing.