Clive Bourne

The Jewish Chronicle - - OBITUARIES -

Born Lon­don, Septem­ber 27, 1942. Died Ne­vis, West Indies, Jan­uary 10, 2007, aged 64.

A SELF-MADE busi­ness­man, Sir Clive Bourne ex­em­pli­fied the tra­di­tion of us­ing his re­sources for the ben­e­fit of the Jewish and wider com­mu­nity, but never put his own name on projects.

Born in a Sal­va­tion Army hospi­tal in Stoke New­ing­ton — his mother Lily said the half-crown (12.5p) fee was her best in­vest­ment — he grew up in a close-knit Il­ford fam­ily. His fa­ther, Moss, was a founder mem­ber of Il­ford Syn­a­gogue.

Clive left school at 15, de­ter­mined to suc­ceed. An early job deal­ing with for­mal­i­ties in an im­port-ex­port busi­ness showed him the pos­si­bil­ity of speed­ing up UK-Con­ti­nen­tal de­liv­er­ies.

He set up Se­abourne Ex­press in 1962, op­er­at­ing from a tele­phone box in Shored­itch. Nine­teen years later his overnight par­cel ser­vice won a Queen’s Award for ex­port achieve­ment.

Mean­while he had mar­ried Joy In­gram in 1967 and set­tled in Chigwell, Es­sex, sup­port­ing the syn­a­gogue and all ma­jor Jewish char­i­ties. In 1990 he was a founder pa­tron, though al­ways un­listed, of Jewish Care. He was also a fun­der and gov­er­nor of King Solomon School in Bark­ing­side.

In 1988 he won a sec­ond Queen’s Award. In the in­ter­ven­ing seven years the Se­abourne Group of com­pa­nies had de­vel­oped from a UK-Europe parcels ser­vice, with a £5 mil­lion an­nual turnover, to a com­pletely in­te­grated Euro­pean or­gan­i­sa­tion with over £23 mil­lion in turnover.

With 650 em­ploy­ees in Europe and at its Ep­ping base, Clive Bourne had also ex­panded into air ser­vices in 1982 at the for­mer RAF Manston base in Kent.

Ne­go­ti­at­ing a long lease from the Min­istry of Defence in 1987, he added tourism to freight ser­vice. Kent In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal opened in 1989 and, in homage to a fa­mous for­mer Jewish res­i­dent in nearby Rams­gate, the VIP lounge was named af­ter Sir Moses Mon­te­fiore. The new ven­ture opened the way into restau­rant ser­vices and duty-free sup­plies to mil­i­tary and diplo­matic cen­tres.

Suc­cess in in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions brought the group to the at­ten­tion of the Arab boy­cott of­fice, which de­manded the ex­clu­sion of Is­rael from its busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties. Clive Bourne r e f us e d t o b o w t o pres­sure. “We have al­ways re­sisted. We have main­tained our ser­vices to Is­rael and will al­ways do so,” he stated in a let­ter to the JC in 1989.

In 1991, aged 47, he was di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer. The life-chang­ing event led him to sell the group’s peri-pheral busi­nesses and con­cen­trate on phil­an­thropic projects like the Prostate Can­cer Char­i­ta­ble Trust (now the Prostate Can­cer Re­search Foun­da­tion) where he was founder chair­man. In 1996 he be­came a found­ing trustee of the Mu­seum of Dock­lands, which he helped set up West In­dia Quay. He named a gallery af­ter his mother-in-law, Es­ther In­gram.

He was also in­volved in Tran­said, a lo­gis­ti­cal char­ity which en­sures that do­na­tions, such as scoot­ers for dis­trict nurses in Africa reach their des­ti­na­tion.

Pas­sion­ate about ed­u­ca­tion and op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth, he re­sponded to the prime min­is­ter’s call in 2002 to im­prove state ed­u­ca­tion through pri­vately funded city acad­e­mies. In­vest­ing £2 mil­lion, he took over the site of the once dis­tin­guished Hack­ney Downs School, that had closed in 1995. He re­built it un­der ar­chi­tect Sir Richard Rogers, head­hunted an out­stand­ing head­mas­ter and opened it in 2004 as Moss­bourne Academy, in hon­our of his fa­ther. He vis­ited of­ten, tak­ing a per­sonal in­ter­est in the pupils and us­ing his con­nec­tions to take high profile guests to mo­ti­vate them. His knight­hood in 2005 recog­nised his ser­vice to gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity.

He died on hol­i­day in the West In­dian is­land of Ne­vis and was buried at the United Syn­a­gogue’s Waltham Abbey ceme­tery.

He is sur­vived by his wife, four daugh­ters and nine grand­chil­dren.

Lord Ado­nis, Min­is­ter for Schools, writes: Clive Bourne com­bined his busi­ness acu­men and phi­lan­thropy to ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fect. Moss­bourne will long be an in­spi­ra­tion to other academy spon­sors na­tion­wide.

Clive Bourne pic­tured in 1989

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