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Drama group's father figure dies

PUBLISHED: 16:23 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:25 23 August 2010

ROLE: Stanley playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof in the 1970s

ROLE: Stanley playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof in the 1970s

TRIBUTES have been paid to the president of one of the borough s largest theatre groups who died after a short illness. Stanley William Egginton OBE, from Higham, died at Medway Hospital on January 11 aged 80. Known as Stan to his family and friends,

TRIBUTES have been paid to the president of one of the borough's largest theatre groups who died after a short illness.

Stanley William Egginton OBE, from Higham, died at Medway Hospital on January 11 aged 80.

Known as 'Stan' to his family and friends, Mr Egginton was president and chairman of the Gravesend and District Theatre Guild and was awarded an OBE in 1988 for his work at Customs and Excise for 40 years service.

His son Stephen Egginton said: "Stan was very much seen as the patriarch of the extended family. The gap he leaves in all our lives will be hard to fill."

After completing National Service, Mr Egginton joined the Civil Service as a customs and excise officer in 1948.

He moved to Gravesend in 1956, when he worked in Tilbury until 1973 then London.

His work on devising a new system to change the way import and export duty was levied won him praise from the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, and he was also awarded an OBE before his retirement in 1988.

He first became involved in amateur dramatics with the Whitehill Players during the 1960s, before moving to the Singlewell Players. By the 1970s he joined the Gravesend and District Theatre Guild, where he took part in numerous productions and stood as chairman twice and also elected president.

Current chairman of the Theatre Guild Trevor West, said: "Stan was a father figure to many of us and his expertise will be sorely missed.

"He was very easy to get on with and great at directing, always ready to give extra time to anyone who needed help."

During his time at the guild, he played Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady in 1972, Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, and Fagin in Oliver.

Mr Egginton is survived by his wife of 31 years Muriel, daughter Susan and Stephen from his first marriage to Dorothy, and stepsons Peter and Martin.

He had six grandchildren.

n The funeral will be held at 11.15am on January 26 at St Botolph's Church, Northfleet. The family have asked for donations to be sent to the Kent Air Ambulance via T.S. Horlock & Sons Ltd. Contact 01474 352199.

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