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College & OF History: 1975-2000
Into the Third Millennium
Framlingham College...
By John Maulden

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Gillian RIMMER

It was no surprise to see an enormous turnout of family and friends at St.Michael’s, Framlingham, on October 11th, for a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Gillian Rimmer; an assembly that would have handsomely exceeded the 250 or so present had it not clashed with a major equestrian event in Birmingham. Gillian would certainly have insisted that these folk had their priorities right! Her keen interest in the four-footed friends were always important to her in the scheme of things. In a most uplifting service, taken by the Reverend Michael Booker, Nick Ward spoke very eloquently about Gillian as a mother, her supporting role both as housemaster’s wife at Lancaster RGS and, subsequently, as Headmaster’s wife at Framlingham, amongst the student body of the College and, more recently, as a mover and shaker within the Leiston/Thorpeness community..•..reminding us all, as he did, of Gillian’s enormous single-mindedness in all she undertook, not least her predatory strike, over a post-match tea at Old Birkonians RUFC back in the early 60’s when she confided to a gathering of camp-followers her firm intention of leading LIR down the aisle!

Gillian’s sudden death, in Dubai while en route to visit family, came as an enormous shock to all who knew her. As with so many successful Heads the Rimmer years at Framlingham were very much a partnership and she relished being involved, be it the all important friendly word to the youngest among the College community, or when emphatically bouncing the feminine viewpoint off ‘The King’ – and in the early pre- co-ed days such opinions, not regularly sought, were of enormous import. Roger Paul, the then Chair of Governors, once famously remarked in his preface to a College Speech Day that ‘Gillian Rimmer has all her best ideas while taking a bath!’ Jocular he may have been but also astute in his observation. Gillian’s quiet initiatives helped to mould the Framlingham of the ’70’s and ’80’s.

A fine lady who will be greatly missed. The sympathy of the Society of Old Framlinghamians, together with the entire College community, is extended to Laurie and O.F. sons Shane, Drummond, Daniel and Arran.

Bob Williams
December 2002

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