In loving memory of Don a true gentleman. Thank you for your part in making our family part of the St Mary’s Youth family which has so enriched all of our lives for over 30 years. RIP Don.
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1926 – 2020
Don Beven passed away in his sleep on 28th December at the age of 94 in the Princess Royal Hospital after suffering a heart attack. Don was raised in Dartford and moved to Wickham Street, Welling, in 1948 with his new wife Vera (d. 2014). He was working at Weekes’ Brothers vegetable merchants (who then had a yard off of Edison Road) where he stayed until he retired in 1991. He has been a member of the congregation at St. Mary’s since 1948. He was already involved in the Scout Association, having already helped run the 8th Dartford troop during the 2nd World War while still a teenager. He continued serving with the 8th Dartford in the 50s becoming group scout leader while commuting from Welling.
At St. Mary’s he later became involved with as a District Scout Leader for Bexleyheath and then with the 2nd East Wickham. He served as Leader, Group Leader and as a Commissioner for Senior Scouts at District Level. The list of events at local and District level that he initiated and led is very long. He directed the first St. Mary’s “Gang Show” in the Church Hall (and many others since). He started the Scout and Guide Folk Festivals there in the 60s and 70s, and organised the St. Mary’s Marathon walks to raise funds for repairs to the Church. Well after his retirement he was a frequent feature at the St. Mary’s Christmas Fayre with his stall of handmade walking sticks. In the Scouts, he was particularly known for pioneering projects and knowledge of knots, including construction of a large tower on Shooters Hill for the Scout Centenary and a 77m long rope suspension bridge at Downe Campsite. He was appointed as Honorary President of the 2nd East Wickham Group and continued to have an input until relatively recently. His work with the Scouts was recognised by a remarkable 70 year Service Award in 2019.
While he was still able to, he also helped as a volunteer at Woodlands Farm, in tidying the Church gardens, and played the ukulele and flower pots in the Pik’n’Mix group that provided entertainment for local Care Homes. He continued to play bowls and go to the local video club until earlier this year when, after a number of falls, he moved from Baltimore Place to the Frognal Care Home in Sidcup. He loved walking in the hills, and for his 80th birthday treat made his first ascent of Ben Nevis (through snow at the top) helped by his 2 grandsons. He leaves his brother Ray, 2 children (Janet and Keith), 4 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren now scattered from Aston Tirrold in Oxfordshire to Fort William in Scotland. Family and the Scouting Family were always very important to him and he will be fondly remembered by many of those young scouts and guides who are now grown with children and even grandchildren of their own. A celebratory service will be held as soon as the restrictions allow it. The family would like to make a collection of any reminiscences and photos of Don that people might like to write down. They can be sent by email to Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org or added to the messages and photos on this Obituary Page