Rotarian Chris Porteous CBE 08.11.35 - 23.12.18

Sun, Dec 23rd 2018 at 12:00 am - 12:00 am

An appreciation of the life of Chris Porteous CBE


Christopher Selwyn Porteous C.B.E.

born: 8th November 1935 died: 23rd December 2018

Christopher came into the world earlier than expected as the result of his mother undergoing surgery for appendicitis. Perhaps this is why he had a habit of arriving for all appointments early, and was a persistent reminder to those members of family who were less punctual.

He lived for most of his childhood in Underhill Road Dulwich, except for periods of evacuation during the Second World War.

 It was during one period of evacuation to Kendal in the Lake District that Chris saved the life of a baby boy. An unattended perambulator rolled into a river and the infant was thrown into the water. Chris was not able to reach the child because he was too small but he shouted to alert someone passing and they were able to prevent the child from drowning.  The family were so grateful they befriended Chris and introduced him to the wonderful places to enjoy in the area.

His wife, Kath, received a lovely letter from that family after his death with a message of thanks for the friendship and memories he shared.

The Lake District became his place of peace, reflection and revival from that day until the end of his life.

At the end of the war Chris returned to school at St Dunstan’s Prep and from there he progressed to Dulwich College.  

He had no brothers or sisters but he lived in a very large house that was converted into 2 flats by his father and uncle. Chris and his parents lived upstairs while his Aunt, Uncle and Cousin John lived on the ground floor.

This made up for the lack of siblings because Chris, John and Stuart Forbes the son of a close family friend were always together as children.

His life blossomed; he developed a great love of classical music, ballet, poetry and languages.  He joined a group of young Christians, who with the support of local business people, were taken to hear inspirational preachers at local and central London Churches. His Christian Faith grew and Chris started to write Hymns and Poetry much of it published in later years.

As things settled in Europe this youth group took regular trips to Germany, Austria and Switzerland which enabled Chris to develop his modern languages further.  

When he left school he was offered places at St Andrews and Cambridge Universities to read languages but his father believed Chris had a greater talent and he arranged for him to train as a lawyer with West Malling Local Authority.

After Chris passed his law society examinations; he moved to The London County Council legal department and from there to The Metropolitan Police.

Chris married his first wife Brenda in 1960. They met at the Caleb Club at Christ Church and they had 4 Daughters, Catherine, Judy, Anne and Gill. 

He encouraged them all to study and they all have successful careers as teachers or nurses. He was always proud that they have grown to be confident, independent women. He was equally proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren and all they have achieved in their lives.

He trained to be a Lay Reader in Christ Church Beckenham under Herbert Cragg and was fortunate to be able to assist with a thriving Junior Church there. His ministry at Christ Church lasted for over 20 years and he was often asked to support other churches including Knockholt and Swanley Village. He assisted with the Billy Graham Crusade when it came to SE London, and was given the opportunity to broadcast on a Children’s radio epilogue programme The Orange and Lemon Club.

He made many friends at Christ Church.  Christian Strover the church musical director and Chris remained constant friends and they had many holidays together. 

Life was good and his great talents were appreciated in both his professional and spiritual life.  He earned promotions at Scotland Yard and when the Crown Prosecution Service took over most of the criminal prosecutions, Chris was asked not to apply for a role in the new organisation, as he was selected to be the new head of the retained legal department at Scotland Yard.

In 1993 Chris was awarded The C.B.E. by the Queen for services to the Metropolitan Police.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Police Lawyers which was formed to ensure there was continuity and consistency amongst all Police legal departments. Chris became the President of the New Association in 1995.

He was also made an honorary member of the Association of Chief Police Officers that year.    

A large part of his job was to represent the Police at conferences and he was frequently called to entertain Celebrities at Scotland Yard including notable crime writers, TV personalities and members of both houses of Parliament. 

His integrity and work ethic was admired by all his colleagues and he became affectionately referred to as “The Archbishop” .  He drew on his wide experience in many fields to promote the principles of law and justice, whilst sharing the joy of his faith with anyone who sought his guidance.A distinguished and memorable career!

Chris moved to Birchington in 2003 and in 2007 he married Kath in All Saints Church.  They built a happy life in the village and made many new friends in the church where they both sang in the choir.  He was often asked to speak at local organisations and took services at the Sailors church in Ramsgate.

Chris was a member of the Rotary Club of Westgate & Birchington for many years and, as “Speaker Secretary” sourced a fascinating array of interesting after-dinner speakers from his seemingly endless pool of contacts.

Chris also joined the Probus Club and the Men’s Supper Club at All Saints Church. He enjoyed the fellowship of the meetings and although his health was failing he was able to continue his membership with the support of several kind friends. 

Kath and Chris enjoyed many happy holidays together in Malta, Germany, Spain, Madeira, and Austria. 

He also took Kath to his beloved Lake District on numerous occasions, and it was his greatest pleasure to show her the places he had come to love as a young boy all those years ago.

They shared their diverse interests and assimilated their friends and families into a whole new life; bound together in faith and undying love.

His professionalism and integrity earned him the respect of all his friends and colleagues.  This is borne out by the messages and tributes the family have received since his death, and they thank everyone for their support during his illness and since his passing. Particular mention must be made of the teams of carers who supported Kath, so that Chris could be at home during his illness; Especially Adelaide and Loveness; Their dedication and kindness made his final years happier and more peaceful than they might otherwise have been.

'What We Do' Main Pages:

We are always delighted to welcome guests to our meetings who may be considering joining the Rotary Family. Please contact our Secretary, Dave Alker to enquire about booking in.

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Banner of the Rotary Club of Westwood Village, Los Angeles

President Chris & Hazel Hedges paid a visit to the Rotary Club of Westwood Village, Los Angeles

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Successful RYLA candidates,Elizabeth Irvine and Emily Robertson report on their experiences at the Arethusa Venture Centre

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Community Service Committee is responsible for organising fund-raising and social events, community service projects and recommending payments to external charities.

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Chris Hedges updates the website on a regular basis.

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Adrian Bawtree, Tessa Read, Roger Newman MBE, Chris Hedges, Derek Brown & Richard Parkin

A "Sing For Your Life" "MUSIC BOX" has been handed over to East Kent Independent Dementia Support (EKIDS). From left: Adrian Bawtree, Tessa Read, Roger Newman MBE, Chris Hedges, Derek Brown & Richard Parkin

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The Rotary Clubs of Thanet are committed to providing opportunities and support for young people.

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Mick Stokes is our Dining Steward and is charge of arranging our venues and gourmet refreshment.

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The Foundation Committee seeks to raise awareness of Rotary's own Charity, THE ROTARY FOUNDATION, and organise events to raise funds for the projects undertaken by the Rotary Foundation.

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Banner of the Rotary Club of Temecula

President Chris & Hazel Hedges visited the Rotary Club of Temecula, California

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Mike O'Toole is our Sergeant-at-Arms

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ROTARIAN PAINTERS AT WORK!

Westgate and Birchington Rotary Club Funds Improvements at Christ Church Community Hall in Westgate

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The International Committee is responsible for coordinating the Contact Club arrangements with the Rotary Club of Poitiers Futuroscope and the Rotary Club of Darmstadt Kranichstein. The Committee also seeks to support overseas charities with fundraising

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Here is an archive of news and activities over the last 10 years

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Club Council normally meets on the last Monday of every month at Church House, Birchington at 7.00 pm.

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The Inner Wheel Club of Westgate & Birchington is a close member of our Rotary family. Its members are predominently relations of Rotarians but membership is open to any lady who is sponsored by an exisiting member.

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In recent years we have supported a wide range of local, national and international charities

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Ian Sharpe & Victoria Lawrence dance the Foxtrot

The "Strictly Come Rotary" Dance Competition was staged on Saturday 13th April 2013 at The Winter Gardens in aid of "Alfie's Trust"

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The winners of the Young Photographer Competition were presented with their awards by the Editor of The Isle of Thanet Gazette, Rebecca Smith

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President-Elect Tony Orpwood & Christine; President Chris Hedges & Hazel; Assistant Governor Jan Dash; Past President John Hawkins & Margaret

A superb FUN, FELLOWSHIP & FOUNDATION Conference in Lille!

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An excellent portfolio of entries was received from competitors in the 2014 Young Photographer Competition. Very well done!

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St Augustine's Chapel

A Musical Soiree was held in the Chapel at St Augustine's to raise funds for the charity "Sing For Your Life"

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The good news is YOU ARE ON OUR WEBSITE!! Please visit it regularly to find news of our latest efforts to serve our community. MEMBERS - PLEASE CHECK THE HOME PAGE EACH WEEK!!!

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To coincide with St Valentine's Day, an "Italian Masked Ball" was held in Kearns Hall.

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Memebers enjoyed a comprehensive wine tasting experience and dined in style.

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Sheila Minhinick, RIBI President John Minhinick, Hazel Hedges, President Chris Hedges, Sheila Grainger, District Governor Stewart Grainger

RIBI President John Minhinick and his wife Sheila attended a Dinner and Presentations for Rotarians in East Kent on Tuesday 4th September 2012

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The Joint Rotary Clubs of Thanet together with Kent Music presented the seventh annual Schools Prom at The Winter Gardens, Margate

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Santa's coming!! He'll be coming to a street near you in December" PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY TO SUPPORT OUR CHARITIES!!

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Rotarians from Darmstadt-Kranichstein, Poitiers-Futuroscope and Westgate & Birchington in Auerbach Keller, Leipzig

A party of Club Members and their partners travelled to Leipzig for the annual Contact Club Reunion with the Rotary Clubs of Darmstadt-Kranichstein and Poitiers-Futuroscope

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Chris Hedges's President's Night Dinner Dance was held on Friday 7th June 2013 at St Augustine's, Westgate-on-Sea

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The planting gets under way

Members constructed a raised garden area for the students at the Hearing-Impaired Unit with matched funding gained from a District Grant of $1000.

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President Tony prresented cheques to the Woodford Foundation and "Blood Runners"

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Following the successful bid for a District Grant, a Sensory Garden, adjacent to the Hearing Impaired Unit at Hartsdown Academy, was constructed by Rotarians. The "Oasis" was formally opened by Past President Chris Hedges on Friday 27th September

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The Club enjoys a number of sporting activities in conjunction with other Rotary Clubs, including Bowls and Golf competitions. The Sports Coordinator is John Hawkins.

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Rotarian Allan Harris is our Club shop manager and arranges for members to purchase Rotary regalia, clothing and jewellery.

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A filled Aquabox ready for deployment

The children at St Crispin's School, Westgate-on-Sea, filled seven Aquaboxes.

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President Chris & Hazel paid a visit to the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills.

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A large gathering of Rotarians and guests enjoyed the annual Christmas Dinner which was made more special by the induction of Christine Laming and the award of the Moulsdale Trophy to Eddie Doody

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A party of Rotarians and members of Inner Wheel attended Evensong "Celebrating Rotary" in Rochester Cathedral on Sunday 17th February 2013

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