Monday, 17 February 2020

Village’s ‘secret’ benefactor dies at 79

THE Sultan of Oman, who owned Wargrave Manor for 40 years, has died following a fight with cancer.

Qaboos bin Said Al Said died on January 10, aged 79, and the Oman government declared three days of national mourning as a sign of respect.

The sultan is thought to have been a benefactor of many projects in Wargrave, even though he was never known to have actually visited the village. He would offer his support on the basis that he remained anonymous.

In 1985, the village festival included an Omani Evening to recognise the link between the village and the sultan.

The event featured traditional Omani food and was attended by the country’s ambassador. The sultan supported the evening by sending a group of musicians to perform.

Peter Delaney, secretary of Wargrave Local History Society, said: “I believe there were a number of organisations in the village for which he was a benefactor but it was on the basis that it was not made public.

“In general, organisations did not go and ask him for help but he would hear about a need or appeal for funds and offer help.

“When the youth centre was being built, there was a large anonymous contribution, which I had on good authority came from him.

“When a similar appeal was launched for an extension to the youth centre, he said he would pay for it. As a result, his contribution was marked by the naming of one room as the Sultan's Room, wherein hung a portrait of him.”

Wargrave Manor, which is Grade II listed, is thought to have been used by members of the sultan’s family when they visited the UK.

The sultan was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015 and last month it was reported that he was terminally ill.

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say