Celebration of Pam Burns’ life draws hundreds to Dean Place Hotel in Alfriston

MORE than 200 people attended a special celebration of the life of one of Seaford’s best loved community figures.

Pam Burns, 74, from Hamsey Lane, sadly passed away earlier in the month after losing her battle with cancer.

She was well known for her involvement with the Seahaven Lioness Club, for which she helped to raise thousands of pounds for local good causes.

She was also a former secretary of Seaford Horticultural Society and a founder committee member of the Seaford Seniors’ Forum, along with her husband of 51 years, John Burns.

On Tuesday (May 31) 230 people travelled from across the world to Dean Place Hotel in Alfriston where a celebration of her life took place.

Pam, from Hamsey Lane, who was admitted to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne before she passed away peacefully on May 13, planned the celebration before she died, instead of a funeral.

Husband John said: “It was wonderful. I think Pam would have been proud.

“We took over the whole hotel, and it was such a lovely afternoon people could sit out in the gardens.

“We had about 230 friends and relations come along, there were so many people, some had to stand.

“On the day we had speeches from different people and a German student who Pam had taught English to, also made a lovely speech.”

A choir sang on the day and instead of giving flowers, people donated to St Wilfrids Hospice, raising a massive £1,300.

John continued: “They are a wonderful group of people at the hospice, I couldn’t compliment them enough and I am glad we could give this money to them.

“It was a lovely day, it was organised by Emma, who was our next door neighbour, and it really was very good. I think Pam would have been over the moon.”

Pam started a language school called Sussex Education Courses for Overseas Students (SECOS) and welcomed large numbers of young people from all over the globe to the town.

Many of these students stayed at the Burns family home and have become lifelong friends, continuing to visit the couple in their retirement and inviting them to their weddings.

In 2010 both Pam and John were given an award by the town council for services to the community.

In a typically selfless gesture, she donated her body to medical research.

Pam leaves behind four grandchildren, as well as her two sons and their caring wives, Suzie and Jane