SEAFORD: Fundraising in memory of Pam totals £2,000

Pam and John Burns pictured in 2010 receiving an award for their services to Seaford from former mayor, councillor Tracy Willis
Pam and John Burns pictured in 2010 receiving an award for their services to Seaford from former mayor, councillor Tracy Willis

THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised for charity in memory of a Seaford resident who died last month.

Well-known community figure Pam Burns passed away on May 13 after a short illness.

A celebration of her life was held at Deans Place in Alfriston with a humanist service attended by more than 200 people.

Donations from friends and family at the event saw £1,800 raised for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, where Pam peacefully passed away.

Since then further donations lifted the total to more than £2,000.

Pam’s 74-year-old’s husband John said, “A lot of people were astonished because they had never been to a ceremony like it before. It was one of Pam’s ideas as she didn’t want a funeral.

“It was a wonderful ceremony.

“The staff there were wonderful.”

The service included gospel singers and readings from family members, including one of Pam’s sons Nick.

While one of her friends gave a talk at the beginning and end of the ceremony, images of Pam were displayed on a screen.

Deans Place was also the venue the couple chose to celebrate their golden wedding anniverary last year.

Pam, who helped to raise thousands of pounds for local good causes during her involvement with the Seahaven Lioness Club, decided to donate her body to medical research.

In a tribute to his wife of 51 years John described her a ‘caring person’, adding, “Not only was Pam a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother - most of all, she was my best friend.

“She loved life and she loved travelling. She saw the best in everybody.”

Pam started a language school in the 1970s called Sussex Education Courses for Overseas Students (SECOS) and welcomed large numbers of young people from all over the globe to the town.

Many of these students stayed at the Burns family home and have become lifelong friends, continuing to visit the couple in their retirement and inviting them to their weddings.

Pam also found time to teach typing and shorthand at the former adult education centre at Seaford Head School.

In 2010 both Pam and John were given an award by the town council for services to the community of Seaford.

The couple embarked on numerous adventures together during their marriage throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia and visited more than 200 countries in their 50 plus years of marriage.

Pam was diagnosed with colon cancer in November last year which then spread to her liver.

But she was determined to enjoy one final trip in April, when she and John holidayed in Penzance for a few days before taking a helicopter flight to the Scilly Isles for a short break.