Portland Charity are deeply saddened by the death of their Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. Since its beginning as Portland Training College, the Charity has had strong links with The Queen, starting in 1949 when a young Princess Elizabeth laid the foundation stone, with the College officially being opened by her mother the Queen a year later.
From her first visit in 1949 and throughout her reign, The Queen took a special interest in the progress of the College. In 1974 she became Patron of the College and on its 40th anniversary in 1990 Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Portland again to present trophies at the Awards Ceremony and to lay the foundation stone for the newly built Laurels building.
At the Awards Ceremony, Her Majesty said, “Ever since I laid the foundation stone of this college in1949, I have taken a special interest in your record of achievement in your field of training for disabled people. Six thousand men and women trained here over the last forty years can testify to the way in which the College and its staff have looked after them, trained them and launched them on their chosen careers. During that time, the name of the College has become synonymous with innovation and excellence at every level of training. The facilities provided here are among the best and the most progressive available.”
Portland celebrated Her Majesty’s Jubilee Anniversary earlier this year by participating in the Jubilee Exhibition at the Nottinghamshire County Show, running a regional Jubilee Sporting Competition for young people with disabilities, hosting a range of parties for learners and citizens, and by commissioning an aerial photograph of around 500 learners, citizens and staff in front of the original foundation stone – a framed copy of which was sent to Her Majesty as a Jubilee gift.
In commemoration of the death of Her Majesty, Portland Charity has created a dedicated space in reception where people can write and hang a message of tribute on a decorative tree.
Learners and citizens will also take part in a project where they will learn more about Her Majesty’s links with the College and her reign over the last 70 years. Chairman of Governors, Tim Richmond OBE commented. “It is with deep gratitude we remember The Queen’s lifelong commitment to her country, the commonwealth and to Portland College and all the other charities she supported. We send our sincere condolences to His Majesty The King and the Royal Family.”