Former Southwick Scoutmaster leaves large legacy

Philip Comber is standing in the middle of the photo, taken at the official opening of the hut on April 28, 1973

Philip Comber is standing in the middle of the photo, taken at the official opening of the hut on April 28, 1973

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A FOUNDING Scoutmaster of 2nd Southwick Scout group passed away last month but has left behind a significant legacy.

Philip Comber, 91, of Manor Hall Road died on March 21 just weeks after his beloved wife Joan. He leaves behind four sons – David. Peter, Paul and Robert and his funeral was on Friday last week (April 12) at the Worthing Crematorium in Findon.

Philip was the founding Scoutmaster the group in the late 1950s, and was the group Scout leader at the time of the building of its headquarters, Comber Hall, affectionately known to us as “The Hut”.

He was also the architect and project manager behind it, supervising the army of parents and volunteers as it was bought from an old factory in Crawley for £350 and relocated to the small plot of land off Upper Kingston Lane in Southwick.

The hall was spotted by Philip and after a lot of negotiations, fund-raising and a massive effort by all concerned, the hall opened. He was also the architect behind the hall belonging to 1st Southwick Scout group and was heavily involved with Southwick Community Centre and the Barn Theatre.

Acting Scout leader Steve Pover said: “I joined the group when I was eight which was around the time the hut opened, so Phil has always been there in my life for the last 40 years. He was a good leader, a good organiser and inspirational.

“He was very active in the Southwick community and that is why he is so sorely missed.”

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the official opening, a reunion is being held on May 11, from 6-10pm. Any former Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Ventures, Leaders and helpers, are welcome to the open house where there will be refreshments and memorabilia from the last 57 years.

Steve added: “The event will now be all the more special as we celebrate the legacy that Phil has left us.

“So, if you have been involved in 2nd Southwick Scout Group since it started in the 1950s and you want to come along to our reunion, or if you think you can help with our fund-raising or renovation of our hut, Comber Hall, then please contact us via e-mail: enquiries@secondsouthwick.org.uk, visit the website www.secondsouthwick.org.uk or visit Facebook.com/Comber.Hall.”