Name a Seat Stories: The personal stories behind the plaques, part twenty-three
As we come to the end of our Name a Seat campaign, we are thrilled that these special stories behind the seats within The Tung Auditorium will have a lasting legacy on all who enjoy this new landmark space. With the Centre now open and music starting to fill the space, we are delighted to share with you the latest instalment of our Name a Seat Stories series.
"After graduating in 1974 and working elsewhere for a few years I completed a PGCE at L.I.H.E., now Hope University. I then spent 16 years working as Music Teacher, eventually as Head of Department, at a local comprehensive school in a socially deprived area of South Liverpool. With the major restructuring of schools in Liverpool in the 1990’s I left secondary education and eventually established myself as a piano teacher and an accompanist, particularly for ABRSM exams. I now run a thriving piano tuition business and work with many Liverpool based instrumental teachers on a regular basis, as well as local schools such as King David High School and Bluecoat School. For the last twenty years, I have helped the University Music Department as an accompanist for the performance modules of the degree as well as Master's students. This has given me immense pleasure, to be able to give something back to the University and to the Music Department is thoroughly rewarding, as is the satisfaction of working with undergraduates and Master's students and passing on my musical knowledge and experience." David Dear (BA Hons Music 1974)
"As an alumna of the University of Liverpool, I am dedicating this seat to our mother who is pictured to the left, Qudsia Naqvi (nee Tirmizi, 1924-1979) -an educationalist and a lifelong learner- on behalf of six of her seven surviving children. My educational and professional journey, from Pakistan to the UK, has been realised because of my mother’s zeal for education for her daughters as well as her sons.
It was our enterprising mother who shaped her children’s futures. This was during a time of great political, religious and social turmoil, following Indian independence from British rule, and the birth of a new country, Pakistan. An educationalist herself, she passionately believed that her daughters as well her sons should get a good education that they could take with them anywhere in the world. After gaining post-graduate level qualifications in Pakistan, all her children settled into their professional and domestic lives in Pakistan and abroad (Canada, New Zealand, and UK).
Our mother Qudsia came from an educated family with high social standing in the days of the British Raj in India. She had to leave college when she was only 18 to get married to a relative of a similar age and background. Her husband and father-in-law were employed in important positions by the Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh (now incorporated into United Provinces, India).
In 1957 our mother, at the age of 33, and after she had six children, went into higher education to study Biology at Forman Christian College (FCC), Lahore, Pakistan. FC College’s legacy spans across 155 years of quality education, and the college adopted co-education in 1902. She studied as a full-time student until 1959. After this, she had to leave Lahore and her studies due to her husband’s job posting with the Pakistan Air Force. She continued with her studies on her own in the hope that one day she would be able to sit her final examination. This, she did successfully, gaining her BSc in 1961. There are two key points to note, which make our mother an outstanding woman: one, she had her seventh child during this period; and two, there were no online learning/teaching facilities available in the late 1950s.
Our mother had an insatiable curiosity to acquire knowledge. Education, for our mother, was everywhere -in nature and in the world around us. During her walks with her six children -and being pregnant with her seventh child- she shared her scientific knowledge of insects and plants with us by collecting and drawing them. This was her way of keeping in touch with her studies and managing to continue with them.
She subsequently went into the teaching profession, holding various headteacher posts in different cities and two different countries.
My regret is that, while I was living at home, I never told her how wonderful she was.
Though our mother did not have the opportunity to study abroad herself, we think it would be a lasting and enduring tribute to her memory as an educationalist to have a seat in The Tung Auditorium at the University of Liverpool dedicated to our mother Qudsia Naqvi." Abila Naqvi Pointing MBE (MA Sociology & Social Policy 1994) and her siblings
"There are several reasons why this donation is special to me. I studied Popular Music at the University of Liverpool from 2006-2009. It provided such a rich experience for me academically and personally. My family are lifelong lovers of The Beatles so the naming of the venue struck so many chords with me. And finally, my daughter was born just last year so I wanted to name a seat after her so in years to come we can tell her the rich story that comes with it (and a great excuse to visit Liverpool over and over again)." Darren Palmer (BA Hons Music/Popular Music 2009)
"I dedicated a seat in The Tung Auditorium to my mother, Wendy Wood, who passed away on February 14 2020. She studied at the School of Architecture from 1947 - 1952. She always loved music and was a huge fan of the Liverpool Philharmonic, in her retirement in the 1980’s up to the 00’s being very busy as a prominent member of “Friends of the Phil”, organising many trips to the Proms in London and abroad, and various other musical events where the Liverpool Phil were playing, which we jokingly referred to as “Wendy’s Tours”.
She always retained her interest in the University and its artistic achievements so I know she would have loved the new theatre and would have been very interested in both its design and development, and in what I’m sure will be the fabulous musical events that will now be held there. Personally, I owe my own existence and that of my late brother, Jonathan Wood, to Liverpool University. She met my late father, Peter Wood who was a fellow student at the School of Architecture and they married and stayed on Merseyside and we had a very happy childhood on the Wirral, with lots of art and music including occasional trips to the University. But it almost didn’t happen: as kids of the UCCA form generation, we used to laugh at the story of how when Dad went for his university interview, the professor told him sadly, I’d like to admit you Peter, so it’s a pity you don’t have Higher School Certificate. My father replied in surprise, oh but I do… turns out, the information was hidden in the crease of the application letter - that was the pre-digital age for you. A long time ago now, but memories of my wonderful parents are still fresh and I’m delighted to be able to preserve that memory a little more with my dear mother’s name on a plaque in the Tung Auditorium." Victoria Wood (BSc Geology 2007)
"I am a former MBA Music Industries student at Liverpool University and now working with the British Council as their Global Head of Evidence for the Arts." Ian Thomas (MBA Music Industries 2005)
"Max Steinberg CBE has been a driving force in Merseyside culture and regeneration since he returned to work in the region as CEO of Liverpool Vision in 2010. A driven and inspirational leader, Max has spent the last 12 years successfully heading up many of the region’s key cultural attractions, including chairing The ACC Liverpool Group, Southport Flower Show and the soon-to-open Shakespeare North Playhouse. Max’s term as Chair of the ACC Liverpool Group was ending in March 2022 and as a token of immense gratitude for his service, his colleagues and friends there have gifted a donation in honour of the Max Steinberg name. It is a thank you befitting his passion and commitment to supporting local communities and to making culture accessible to all." Faye Dyer, Managing Director at The ACC Liverpool Group
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