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Famous Names plaque unveiled

Large group of people standing in front of a wall displaying plaques and hanging baskets.

A plaque acknowledging the achievements of a former Farnham resident has been unveiled in South Street by the Mayor of Farnham, Councillor David Attfield.

Sir Jeffrey Tate CBE attended Wrecclesham Primary School before joining Farnham Grammar School in 1954. He was born with spina bifida but was determined not to let his disability stand in his way.

He graduated from Cambridge and, indebted to the medical profession for enabling him to walk, he originally trained and qualified as a doctor.

Sir Jeffrey’s passion for music was evident from a young age and never diminished. It was a chance meeting with the English operatic tenor John Kentish that led to Sir Jeffrey taking up his hobby professionally.

He went on to enjoy a distinguished international career, guest conducting almost every major orchestra and opera house in the world. He received a knighthood for his services to British Music Overseas in 2017.

The unveiling ceremony which was held on 29 May was attended by around 40 people including Sir Jeffrey’s sister Jill Denbigh, members of his family and Roger Edgell from the Old Farnhamians’ Association.

Paying tribute to Sir Jeffrey’s achievements, Councillor Attfield said: “Sir Jeffrey Tate was an extraordinary man who, despite suffering severe disability, went on to have a hugely successful forty-year career and is an example to us all. Although his career took him all over the world he remained loyal to Farnham and in later life, he became president of the Farnham and Bourne Choral Society and Farnham Youth Choir.

“Sir Jeffrey is truly deserving of a place on the Famous Names of Farnham wall and has left a great legacy.”

The Famous Names of Farnham wall celebrates some of the people who were born in Farnham or who lived in the town and made a significant contribution to society.

A short biography about each of the 21 people to have so far been honoured with a famous names plaque can be seen on the famous names page of the website.

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