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Bryan Sefton-Smith celebrates 90th birthday

  • Monday July 6, 2020

On behalf of IHE members may we wish Bryan Sefton-Smith a somewhat belated Happy Birthday!

Bryan celebrated his 90th birthday at the end of April, albeit in a state of lockdown and at a distance from his family.

As a Founder Member of IHE, Bryan must be its longest-serving member and probably its oldest.

The IHE started life in 1965 as The Association of Highway Technicians (AHT) and through various incarnations became The Institute of Highway Engineers in 2009. Bryan has been a presence in the institute throughout its existence.

For many years he was an active member of the Council of the Institute, and his experience, guidance and wise counsel have served us well and helped to keep us on the right path. Despite his deep involvement he never sought to take on any of the senior officer roles although he represented the Institute in various other ways. It is only recently that he relinquished his role as one of the IHE nominated representatives to serve as liaison officer for the Engineering Council.

In addition to his national activities Bryan has been a member of the South Western Branch Committee, which he refers to as ‘The Premier Branch’. SW Branch chairmen will call members to order at an event using the block and gavel that Bryan created from a gate post. On that block, as on the Branch Chair’s Chain of Office, are listed the names of the previous Branch chairmen, including Bryan himself.

He has something of a reputation in the running of fundraising raffles at events, helping to make significant amounts of money for charity. Committee members, often to their dismay, are unable to retain any prizes they won in the draws because they were withdrawn by Bryan and became the subject of his legendary ‘Dutch Auctions’.

Bryan is a Bridport (Dorset) man through and through and lives next to the Area Highways Depot where he worked for many years. He was also a stalwart of the local rugby club. His other  interests include diving (high board, not scuba) in which he was well known as an instructor and judge.

One suspects that his many other talents and life experiences could form the basis for a  much longer article. In fact, Bryan could probably give us an interesting insight into the story of the Institute itself over the years of its existence – how about it old friend?

We hope that you carry on for many years yet Bryan so that we can relate more of your life story on your 100th birthday!

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